Heart disease accounts for 1 in 3 deaths, according to American Heart Association statistics. This ranks among the leading causes of death for Americans. The incidence of cardiovascular disease also is high in Missouri, which has led the St. Charles County Department of Public Health to introduce heart health screening programs this month.
“The goal of public health is primary prevention, focused on minimizing the occurrence of disease and promoting the health of the community,” said Department of Public Health Director Hope Woodson. “We recognize that knowing your numbers is an important part of the effort to prevent chronic disease. Because of this, our Health Services Clinic presents convenient, affordable ways for our citizens to obtain baseline health information, educational resources and treatment assistance.”
Located at 1650 Boones Lick Road in St. Charles, the Health Services’ Clinic now offers a variety of services to help citizens prevent chronic disease. The heart health screenings will include blood testing of cholesterol and glucose levels, blood pressure examination and Body Mass Index analysis.
“Cholesterol build-up, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and a high BMI [Body Mass Index] are recognized precursors to heart disease,” explained Sara Evers, director for the Division of Health Services. “These levels can increase for many years before any worrisome complications develop, sometimes to levels beyond that where simple changes and focused management can make significant improvements. That is why we’re introducing these screenings – to help our residents know where they stand now, before symptoms manifest.”
Despite the grim statistics, there are simple things that can be done to prevent and manage heart disease:
• Follow the mantra lose and increase – lose weight, stress and cigarettes; increase exercise, good eating habits and doctor’s care.
• Recognize risk factors such as age, gender or family history and discuss these with your medical provider.
• Establish a support network that will encourage and assist your efforts.
Tests are conducted between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on the new services, residents can call (636) 949-7319 or visit sccmo.org/healthservices.