Online effort takes aim at heart health risks
A new effort to educate the community about heart health is helping people recognize if they are at risk and how to lower their risk for heart disease.
Since launching "What's the Rhythm of Your Heart?" last summer, a collaboration between Morton Plant Mease and St. Anthony's hospitals, about 1,000 free online health assessments have been completed and 70 percent of those showed a risk for heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in this country, claiming 865,000 lives annually.
"The free online health assessment allows us to reach out to our community and where they live, to provide education and knowledge of early detection and prevention," said Dr. David Kohl, a cardiologist at St. Anthony's Hospital.
According to the American Heart Association, several medical conditions and lifestyle choices can put people at higher risk of heart disease, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, cigarette smoking, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol use.
The free online heart risk assessment gives each individual a customized report to learn how to modify their lifestyle and become more heart healthy. Participants also receive a healthy heart kit including a free pedometer, measuring spoon and information on the comprehensive heart services offered at Morton Plant Mease and St. Anthony's hospitals.
"With nine out of 10 heart disease patients having at least one risk factor, early detection can lead to prevention once the risk factors are recognized," said Dr. Mahesh Amin, cardiologist and Morton Plant Mease cardiology section chairman.
Patients at risk are contacted and encouraged to schedule an appointment with their physician to share their assessment report. For a free heart health assessment, call (727) 253-4238 or visit rhythmofyourheart.org.
Free session on heart disease, attacks
Join Morton Plant Mease's heart health specialists for a unique opportunity to have an open discussion about a variety of heart-related topics at noon Friday at Cheek-Powell Heart and Vascular Pavilion, meeting rooms A and B, 455 Pinellas St., Suite 300, Clearwater.
Physicians will speak on many types of heart disease, heart attacks and surgery. A light lunch will be provided at the free lecture.
To register for the seminar, call (727) 953-6877.
Seminars, classes, support groups
NAR-ANON FAMILY GROUP MEETINGS: 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Mondays (except holidays) at Crystal Beach Community Center, 517 Crystal Beach Ave.; 7 p.m. Tuesdays at First United Methodist Church Educational Building, second floor, 421 Main St., Dunedin; and 7 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Room 102, 1199 Highland Ave., Largo. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Naranonfl.org.
ALZHEIMER'S CAREGIVERS SUPPORT GROUP: 9:30 a.m. Mondays (meets weekly), Palm Harbor Community Activity Center, 1500 16th St. Visitors welcome. (727) 787-1837.
RECOVERY INTERNATIONAL: Abraham Low Self-Help System, a weekly support group for people suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and symptoms caused by fear and anger, meets at these times and locations: 1 p.m. Mondays, St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 813 Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs, (727) 785-4506; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Grace Lutheran Church, 1812 Highland Ave., Clearwater, (727) 942-9008; and 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 1199 Highland Ave., Clearwater, (727) 586-2585 or leave message at (727) 525-1749. Free, but an offering is appreciated.
brain tumor support group: 6 p.m. Thursday (meets the fourth Thursday of every month), Mease Dunedin Hospital, meeting room 1, 223 Douglas Ave., (727) 953-6877.