(Cleveland) - The news of actor James Gandolfini’s death is shocking fans around the world.

Reports say the “Sopranos” star died of a sudden cardiac event in a hotel room in Italy.

Dr. Bruce Wilkoff is a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, and says your heart health depends on how well it’s pumping blood.

He contends, the percentage of blood being pumped, has been the most powerful predictor of sudden cardiac death.

Wilkoff says that’s why exercise is so important to heart health because it can strengthen your heart and improve circulation.

Dr. Wilkoff says another way to protect yourself from sudden cardiac death is by reducing any heart risks you may have.

That includes scheduling regular check ups, losing excess weight, quitting smoking, and dealing with sleep apnea, which has been linked to sudden cardiac death.

Also, people with high blood pressure are more at risk for a heart attack.

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(Copyright 2013 Clear Channel, all rights reserved. Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

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