February is American Heart Month and the FirstHealth of the Carolinas is focusing on helping the community learn more about heart disease by hosting several awareness events throughout February.
According the the FirstHealth of the Carolinas, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women and someone in the United States has a heart attack every 34 seconds.
Between 70 and 89 percent of sudden cardiac events occur in men and one in four women in the U.S. dies from heart disease while one in 30 dies from breast cancer.
There are about 2,200 deaths per day because of heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Cardiovascular disease can also be very expensive. Both heart disease and stroke hospitalizations in 2010 cost the nation more than $444 billion in health care expenses and lost productivity, according to the CDC.
Heart disease affects many people and many factors contribute to the disease. Being overweight, smoking, poor diet and lack of physical activity are all factors that contribute to heart disease, according to FirstHealth.
To bring awareness to heart disease and the American Heart Month, FirstHealth of the Carolinas is asking everyone to participate in National Wear Red Day on Friday, Feb. 1. This will kick off the start of American Heart Month and wearing red will show support for heart health.
FirstHealth has also scheduled several events to help learn and combat heart disease. These events are:
On Feb. 1, a free blood pressure screening will be held at Subway in the Whistle Shopping Center in Hamlet from noon until 2 p.m. and at Food King in Ellerbe from 2 to 4 p.m.
On Feb. 7 from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Center for Health & Fitness in Pinehurst, a class called Nutrition Basics for Better Health will be taught by Ashley Carpenter, a registered dietitian and, licensed dietitian/nutritionist. This free class will teach strategies for improving health, feeling better and achieving or maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy heart. Registration is required by Feb. 6. For more information, call 910-715-1800.
On Feb. 7, from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. at the Center for Health & Fitness in Pinehurst, a class will be held about the health benefits of chocolate. A variety of samples will be available to taste. Registration is required by Feb. 5 and a $5 payment is due upon registration. Call 910-715-1800 for more information.
Cholesterol, Diabetes and Blood Pressure Screening
On Feb. 14, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the Rockingham Housing Authority on 809 Armstead St. in Rockingham there will be a cholesterol, diabetes and blood pressure screening. The test will involved a simple finger stick and will cost $5 for all three screenings. Fasting for 8 to 12 hours is recommended.
On Feb. 18, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital Cafeteria, an opportunity to discuss questions and concerns with Dr. David Shin and Dr. ‘Jide Lawal will be held. Refreshments will be provided at this free event. To register, call 910-417-3701.
On Feb. 21, from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m., at the Center for Health & Fitness in Pinehurst, a free class will be taught on creating heart-healthy meals at home. Preparing meals at home is a great way to slash calories, sodium and saturated fats from your diet, which can improve your heart health. Register by Feb. 20 by calling 910-715-1800.
On Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Conference Center at the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, a blood drive will be held. For more information or to make an appointment to donate, call 910-715-1478.
For more information on any of the FirstHealth heart healthy events, call 1-800-213-3284.