Have You the Heart to Find Out Your Risk?

Healthy Heart Month Launch

Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) and the Bermuda Heart Foundation (BHF) launched Healthy Heart Month today with a proclamation reading by the Hon. Nelson Bascome, Minister of Health.

The theme of this year’s campaign, Know Your Numbers, highlights the importance of understanding risk factors for cardiac disease. These key indicators include blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and waist circumference.

Staff from the medical programme at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) will offer free screenings throughout the month. Members of the public can learn about their numbers on any Wednesday in February, from noon to 2:00pm in the lobby at KEMH, as well as about healthy levels of these factors and guidelines on preventing cardiac disease.

Lobby displays will profile staff from the department and offer explanations on diagnostic tests such as electrocardiograms, stress tests, echocardiograms, stress echocardiograms and holster monitoring (ambulatory electrocardiograms).

Events planned by BHF in February include a panel presentation at Bermuda College on February 8th, a Wear Red for Women day on February 16th and a series of lectures at KEMH throughout the month.

As the number one cause of death for both men and women on our island and around the world, heart disease affects one in two Bermudians: specifically, coronary artery disease, a condition that blocks blood vessels and can lead to a heart attack. This is the most preventable form of cardiac disease.

Research has shown that by controlling risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, weight and physical activity, the chances of developing this debilitating and sometimes fatal condition can be reduced.

Myrian Balitian-Dill, Cardiac Care Nurse Specialist at KEMH, said, “The beginning of the year is a great time for people to affirm their commitment to healthy life choices. Although we highlight information in February, we need to take good care of ourselves throughout the year. The intent of our campaign is to motivate people to be proactive in their healthcare.”

Norma Smith, Programme Manager for Medical Care at KEMH, adds, “Knowing your risk for heart disease can lessen your odds of a cardiac incident. Understanding these vital statistics can save your life. We invite members of the public to stop by and learn more about this important health issue.”

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