Archive for Thursday, July 3, 2008

Health screenings scheduled at Holy Angels Catholic Church

July 3, 2008

A few screenings offered at Holy Angels Catholic Church next week could help some people reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Life Line Screenings will be visiting the church all day Wednesday, July 9, to detect the early signs of cardiovascular disease - the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

"This isn't your average blood pressure screening," Joelle Reizes, public relations director for Life Line said. "It's a lot about stroke and heart attack prevention. You may not even know you have arterial disease because it's silent."

Eight screenings will be offered to patients on Wednesday and Reizes said healthcare professionals will go from head to toe checking different problem areas through a non-evasive and painless ultrasound procedure.

The first test checks for fatty plaque buildup in the carotid artery, the large artery in the neck. Blockages can reduce blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke. Next, the ultrasound is moved to the heart to check for atrial fibrillation.

"It's the most common type of heart irregular rhythm," Reizes said. "Again, it's a leading risk factor for stroke."

Patients are then screened for abdominal aortic aneurysms, which is a ballooning of the largest blood vessel in the body. Early detection of an enlargement may save a person's life because a rupture is usually fatal, Reizes said.

The screening then continues to the patients' legs to check for peripheral artery disease or blockages in the vessels that carry blood to the arms and legs.

Patients may also choose to screen for osteoporosis or bone diminishment through an ultrasound of the heel. Several blood tests may also be administered including a full lipid panel and glucose testing.

"They go top to bottom looking for risk factors you may not know you have," Reizes said.

The screenings are for people age 50 or older that are asymptomatic - those that may have other risk factors such as high blood pressure, but do not feel sick.

"If you're 50 or older and you feel fine, then these screenings are for you," Reizes said.

While Life Line is based in Ohio, Reizes said it's provided in 48 states utilizing community centers, churches and other familiar facilities.

"The idea is really to make the screenings easy to get to and make sure they don't feel scary to people," Reizes said. "We want people to feel comfortable going to them."

Joyce Bowlin, secretary at Holy Angels, said almost 70 people showed up for the screenings when the church hosted them in April. While the upcoming session was originally supposed to be at another church, Bowlin said Holy Angels agreed to play host again when the previous church had to cancel.

"I think they all liked it and were glad it was here," Bowlin said about the patients. "It gives them an opportunity rather than running to the doctor to get these things checked out. I didn't hear any negative comments."

Patients can choose any four of Life Line Screening's health screenings for $140 or all eight for $199. Appointments begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 9, at Father Quinlan Hall, 15438 Leavenworth Road. Pre-registration is required and can be completed by calling (800) 697-9721 or going online at lifelinescreening.com.

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