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Local Hospitals Target Women's Heart Health

Credit: Flickr/Amy-Quixotic Pixels

Mary Yocum is a staff nurse with the cardiac rehab unit at the Wheeler Heart and Vascular Center. She says smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lack of exercise can all lead to heart diseases. Vascular surgeon Dr. Robert Vorhies will be among the speakers to address these and other topics at the CoxHealth event.

 “Heart disease is the number one killer of women that has not changed for years and years and years. We are reducing the number of women with heart disease by having events that encourage women to know their numbers,” Yocum said.

She added that the numbers women need to know are their cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and to exercise 30 to 60 minutes at least five days a week.

Laurie Soulsby, senior development officer with CoxHealth Foundation said small lifestyle changes can also make a difference in our health.

“We can do some simple everyday things such as keeping an eye on our intake like our choices with what we eat and definitely some regular exercise or simple things like parking further out in the parking lot makes a world of difference or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.,” Soulsby said.

Marie Pearl, Biggest Loser contestant and Springfield native, has made some of those changes in her journey. She will be one of three Red Dress Champions to speak about their experiences. Pearl has not had any cardiology problems, but she’s lost 108 pounds in achieving a healthier lifestyle.

Officials say there are four important people in securing your heart health: your doctor, a trainer, a dietician and most importantly, you.

Mercy Hospital will also conduct a forum on women’s heart health next week, and will include, among other things, discussions on health issues young women face that are now known to contribute to developing heart disease.

For KSMU News, I’m Briana Simmons.