Texas Health Stephenville to Host Heart Screening Event on Feb. 26
02/19/2009

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — What is the leading cause of death for women? Most people guess breast cancer, but the answer is cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease occurs at a rate of nearly double that of all cancers, according to the American Heart Association. Nearly 39 percent of female deaths in the United States are from cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

Individuals are invited to visit Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville from 7 to 9 a.m. on Feb. 26 for a heart health event. Hospital employees will offer lab work, ranging from a $5 cholesterol screening to $35 for a full profile. Thyroid and PSA tests are $10 each.

No appointment is necessary, and proceeds will benefit Dublin High School and the Carl Phillips Scholarship Fund at Texas Health Stephenville.

In addition to the lab tests, Dr. Poongodhai Ramachandran, a physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Stephenville, will be on site to answer health questions. Individuals may have their height, weight, and blood pressure checked. Information also will be available about nutrition, diabetes and CPR.

A vascular risk screening exam will be available by appointment between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 26. The screening lasts 15 minutes and costs $120. It includes an ultrasound of the neck arteries, ultrasound of abdominal artery, and Doppler measurements of the arteries in the ankle. Appointments may be made by calling 1-877-THR-WELL.

“Women in particular often spend most of their time worrying about the health of their family,” said Ramachandran. “It is important not to ignore warning signs and to take steps to improve your health before a medical crisis occurs.”

Heart attacks usually don’t start with symptoms like the movies portray, an older man gripping his heart and then collapsing. Instead, heart attacks typically start with mild pain that can easily be dismissed.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), symptoms include:

  • Chest discomfort that lasts more than a few minutes, but feels like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain
  • Discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness

Women are more likely than men to experience shortness of breath, vomiting or back and jaw pain than men, the AHA says.

To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the AHA recommends that people control any high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.

For more information, visit http://www.choosetomove.org/.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville is a 98-bed acute care, full-service facility serving Erath and surrounding counties since 1926. The hospital's services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, women and infant care, advanced diagnostic imaging, inpatient and outpatient physical therapy and wound care. Texas Health Stephenville has been recognized as a Nurse-Friendly Hospital and a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, please call 1-877-THR-WELL.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospitals, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospitals, and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health, visit www.texashealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.