By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– The leading cause of the death in the United States is heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the High Desert, the number of residents reporting high blood pressure and high cholesterol, two of the risk factors known to cause heart disease, have risen in the past five years. The number of residents reporting high blood pressure increased from 31.8 percent to 35.2 percent between 2007 and 2012, and the number of residents reporting high cholesterol in that time frame increased from 27.2 percent to 34 percent, according to St. Joseph Health, St. Mary’s 2012 Health Needs Assessment.
While risk factors increased, the number of residents reporting heart disease declined from 8.8 percent to 5.3 percent, but the need to manage risk factors is critical to the health of High Desert residents with 87 percent of High Desert adults having one or more heart disease risk factor, according to the St. Mary assessment.
St. Mary’s mission is to improve the lives of the people in the community it serves. To help the community improve its heart health, the medical center is offering free heart screenings on Aug. 3. The key to preventing cardiovascular disease is managing risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high total cholesterol or high blood glucose, according to the American Heart Association. But how does someone know their risk factors? The best way to find out is through screening tests. The free screening from St. Mary includes a cholesterol panel and glucose blood test, blood pressure check, body mass index and waist circumference. Call (866) 672-8149 today to make your appointment for the screening on Aug. 3.