In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center looks to help Grayson County residents care for their heart with its annual Heart Check next weekend.
This year’s Heart Check, which consists of free heart screenings and information for attendees, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the local hospital’s front lobby and will be hosted by the Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center (TLRMC) Cardiac Rehab department.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
More than 67 million Americans have high blood pressure, which often shows no signs or symptoms, according to a TLRMC news release.
Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart attack and stroke, and people with high blood pressure are four times more likely to die from a stroke and three times more likely to die from heart disease.
One out of four deaths is attributed to heart disease.
The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions, TLRMC Director of Planning and Marketing Bill Oldham wrote in the release.
The most common type in the United States is coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart.
Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.
“The good news is that there are things people can do to decrease their odds of dying from heart disease and, in many cases, keep their risk factors controlled,” Oldham said.
Free screenings and information at Heart Check will include Carotid Artery Ultrasound screening, Healthy Heart Nutrition information, Blood Pressure screening, Glucose screening (blood sugar), Fitness and BMI testing, Healthy Living information, and more.
Clay Vincent, APRN will be on hand, as will TLRMC Pharmacy Director Angela Gibson, PharmD, to provide information on Medicine Safety.
In addition, Leitchfield Aquatic Center will have information on their 2016 season, and Melonie Dennison will be there to talk about making exercise fun, as well as good for your heart, Oldham said.
A lipid profile (cholesterol screening) will be available for a fee of $10. Fasting is preferred but not necessary for this screening.
The most popular screening at previous Heart Expo events has been the carotid artery screening, and Miranda Kassinger, Director of Diagnostic Imaging, will be performing this test.
“Carotid artery screening is designed to assess the amount of arterial plaque someone may have within the large vessels that carry blood to the brain, face, neck, and scalp,” Kassinger said. “Arterial plaque can lead to narrowing of the arteries which may ultimately cause a stroke. The goal of screening is to find vessels in the neck that are blocked or accumulating plaque before symptoms begin.”
70 to 80 percent of strokes are caused by blocked blood vessels, and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, a family history of stroke or heart disease, and a history of smoking are at an increased risk of developing arterial plaque.
The Twin Lakes Wound Healing Center will also be at the Heart Expo with information connecting heart health and difficult healing wounds that many people might not have thought about, Oldham said.
While there are several factors that can affect wound healing, heart health is one of the most important.
According to Stacey Wilt, CRT, Director of Cardiopulmonary at TLRMC, the previous heart expos have always been well attended.
The hospital hopes that, by holding Heart Check on a Saturday, many local residents who work throughout the week will take advantage of the event, Oldham said.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.