Florida hospitals go red for women, offer free screenings

BY ASHLEY D. THOMAS
DAYTONA TIMES

150205_dt_front02According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined. In the U.S. Heart disease strikes someone every 43 seconds and accounts for one in seven deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says certain groups —including African-Americans and older individuals – are at higher risk than others.

Nearly 44 percent of African-American men and 48 percent of Black women have some form of cardiovascular disease that includes heart disease and stroke.

“Cardiovascular disease is both preventable and treatable,” Dr. Utpal Desai, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center told the Daytona Times.

The hospital will hold free cardiac screenings on Feb. 6 which Desai says he hopes will help identify cardiovascular disease before it progresses.

“The earlier we identify disease, the better we can treat patients, often with minimally invasive options,” he added.

Race and income factors
African-American adults are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension), and heart attack and stroke deaths than White adults. Additionally, the CDC reports that individuals living below the federal poverty level are more likely to have high blood pressure compared with those living at the highest level of income.

Shown are participants from the 2014 Go Red for Women event.(COURTESY OF FLORIDA HOSPITAL)
Shown are participants from the 2014 Go Red for Women event.  (COURTESY OF FLORIDA HOSPITAL)

Locally, the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County recently released startling statistics about the health of the community. Volusia residents are dying at a higher rate of heart disease than the state average. Heart disease far surpasses other leading causes of death, killing nearly three times more than Volusia County’s next top killer — lung cancer.

In support of the American Heart Association’s annual Go Red for Women initiative, Florida Hospital DeLand, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial and Florida Hospital Flagler will offer free cardiac screenings and a heart-healthy breakfast on Feb. 6. RSVPs are required; call toll-free 866-328-6417.

Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center also will hold a cardiac event on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Ormond Beach Family YMCA, 500 Sterthaus Drive.

Desai will discuss preventive measures for staying heart healthy as well as common ailments related to cardiac issues and what can be done to alleviate them. There will be a special focus on peripheral vascular disease and the signs, symptoms and corrective techniques. To RSVP, call 386-231-2229.

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