Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Wear red to support good health in area

By the Advocate Editorial Board
Feb. 10, 2014 at 6:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 9, 2014 at 8:10 p.m.

During the month of February, people, companies and health care organizations across the country observe American Heart Month.

According to the American Heart Association, this is the 50th year for this observance, and we are glad to know this tradition of emphasizing the need for better heart health has endured for so long. In Victoria, both of the major hospitals are holding programs and events to encourage people to be aware of the need for heart health and to know the warning signs of heart disease.

Citizens Medical Center is holding three events this week to promote heart health, according to a news release. On Wednesday, the Red Heals Healthy Heart Screening Event will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the hospital lobby. Free screenings and heart disease risk assessments will be offered, and attendees are encouraged to wear red shoes to show their support for heart health. Thursday, Dr. Chelif Junor will present a presentation called "Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Women - Review of New Guidelines" from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Citizens classroom. Then, on Friday - which is also Valentine's Day - Citizens will hold Have a Heart Day and encourages everyone to wear red and give heart-shaped treats such as stickers, chocolates or other little things to show you care about their heart health.

DeTar Hospital Navarro is partnering with the Victoria Advocate to encourage people to wear red this month and submit photos of it for a photo contest by uploading the photos to the website with the submitter's name and contact information under the photo category DeTar Red. The deadline for photo submissions is 5 p.m. Feb. 20. Winners will be featured in the Victoria Advocate, and the winning photo submitter will receive a three-month membership to DeTar Health Center.

We encourage people to take part in these events to help raise awareness of the importance of heart health in Victoria and the Crossroads. Heart disease is a serious problem that can take many different forms. Residents should be aware of the symptoms of a heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest. Each of these can be deadly, and symptoms should never be ignored. According to the American Heart Association, heart attack victims show symptoms including discomfort in the chest and other areas of the upper body, shortness of breath and other symptoms including a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. Symptoms of stroke include drooping on one side of the face, arm weakness or difficulty speaking. Cardiac arrest symptoms include a sudden lack of responsiveness and a lack of normal breathing. If you suspect you or someone you know is experiencing any of these conditions, call 9-1-1 and seek medical attention.

The heart is one of the most important muscles in the human body. We encourage everyone to take extra care to avoid heart disease and live healthy lives. Take steps to protect your health so you can enjoy many more years of life with those you love.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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