Palmetto Health strives to teach women about cardiovascular disease

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Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for women nationally and the second-leading cause of death for all women in South Carolina, according to Palmetto Health.

It is also the leading cause of death for black women in the state, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease kills twice as many women over the age of 25 as the next seven causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. Women are more likely to die of a heart attack than men because their heart disease often goes undiagnosed.

Palmetto Health is working to change these statistics by identifying women who are at risk of cardiovascular disease through free heart health screenings and teaching them at its Women at Heart Forum and Exhibition.

Locally, Palmetto Health Tuomey will hold free heart health screenings from 8 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, and again on Thursday, Feb. 8, in Classrooms 1 and 2 at the hospital, 129 N. Washington St. A 12-hour fast is required. To schedule a screening, call (803) 296-CARE (2273).

The Heart Forum and Exhibition will be held from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St., Columbia. The event attracts more than 1,000 participants each year. Speakers are motivational speaker Bertice Berry, PhD, and Dr. Anil Yallapragada, medical director of Palmetto Health Stroke Center and neurologist at Palmetto Health-USC Neurology. Breakout sessions with Palmetto Health experts and Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group physicians will include topics on depression and stress, hypertension and healthy eating habits. Other activities will include ask-the-doctor sessions, healthy cooking demonstrations, fitness activities, door prizes and more. Free transportation is available for residents in the Sumter County area. Learn more about the event and register by visiting http://www.PalmettoHealth.org/WomenAtHeart or call (803) 296-CARE (2273).