Thu | Feb 2, 2023

Heart Smart Centre marks Wear Red Day with free heart health screening for women

Published:Wednesday | January 25, 2023 | 12:23 AM
Dr Claudine Lewis
Dr Claudine Lewis
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The Heart Smart Centre in Montego Bay, St James, team led by cardiologist Dr Claudine Lewis, will offer free cardiovascular disease risk assessment exclusively to women in western Jamaica in observance of Wear Red Day ®, Friday February 3. Wear Red Day®, an American Heart Association initiative is a global campaign, dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease in women. As cardiovascular disease numbers rise worldwide, Dr Lewis notes that the health fair is critical now more than ever, as it would serve to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, while providing women with an opportunity for early detection.

Current estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) are that over 17 million people die from the disease worldwide annually. This includes heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease. Fifteen years ago, this represented 30 per cent of all global deaths. That number is growing and is expected to double by 2030, Dr Lewis pointed out.

She noted that in Jamaica, cardiovascular disease remains one of the leading causes of illness and death. “Women account for more than 50 per cent of this number. Within the medical community we know there are sex-based differences in how men and women express signs and symptoms of heart disease.” She continues, “Women may not have typical symptoms of heart attack, for example, and can sometimes be dismissed as being anxious and diagnosis can be delayed.” Hence, this mission to raise awareness about these differences and to help women recognise the signs and symptoms of heart disease as well as to get screened for silent heart disease or risk factors for heart disease such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

RED DRESS AMBASSADORS

As part of the awareness campaign, the centre will be introducing HSC red dress ambassadors.

Red dress ambassadors are women who have been diagnosed with and treated for heart disease and have been living full lives. The women will share their stories of how they found out they had heart disease, treatments they have undergone and what it’s like to live with the diagnosis of a heart condition.

To benefit from the free screen, participants must wear red to the screening. Only women participants will be screened. Participants will complete a heart health questionnaire, and have free blood pressure, body mass index, blood sugar and cholesterol checks. The first 15 participants with abnormal screens will also receive free electrocardiograms and all participants with an abnormal heart screen will be reviewed by our cardiologist with follow-up recommendations, a release from the centre notes.