Free heart health screenings at Springfield Hy-Vee's mobile unit Tuesday

Published: Feb. 25, 2020 at 5:21 AM CST
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A woman who seemingly felt healthy has an important warning for everyone: don't just assume your heart is healthy.

Linda Smith and her husband both turned 50 when they decided to go the extra mile with their health, taking up running as a new hobby. They also focused on eating healthy. Smith said she was the last person who ever thought she'd have a stroke, but that's exactly what happened while watching her grandson's baseball game just a few years ago.

Smith said it's more important than ever she knows her numbers.

"Once you have an event, like in my case a stroke, I am at a 25 percent greater risk of having another stroke," Smith began. "The doctor has said that my numbers need to be even lower than most normal people just because of that, so we're very vigilant every year to get that checked out and make sure that they are in a good range."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25 percent of deaths in America are from some type of cardiovascular disease.

The lead dietitian at Springfield's Hy-Vee said the best thing people can do is know their numbers. "We don't really feel whenever our blood pressure is high a lot of times or when your cholesterol is high and that's when we see those silent killers, with hypertension and stroke and heart disease in general," said Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Amanda Allen.

Allen said that's why Hy-Vee hosts free heart healthy screenings every year in its Healthy You Mobile Unit. The screening is a combination of measurements and readings about certain health factors that may help identify potential risk factors for chronic diseases or conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension or diabetes.

Allen said anyone is welcome to come for a free heart health screening, no insurance necessary, on Tuesday, Feb. 25 between 7:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at the Springfield Hy-Vee, located at 1720 W. Battlefield Road.

During the screening, dietitians will collect a blood sample from a finger prick that will be used to determine cholesterol levels, triglycerides and glucose levels. They will also take resting blood pressure, measurements of height, weight and waist, and will calculate body mass index.

The entire screening process typically takes 15 to 20 minutes and all results will be reviewed and received during the screening. Those who are thinking about heading to Tuesday's screening are asked to fast for 9-12 hours beforehand.

Allen also encouraged people to be proactive by exercising and eating healthy. She talked about how some great heart healthy food options include oatmeal, chia seeds, apples and berries. She also said great sources of protein include chicken and salmon. Individual appointments can be made with Allen by calling the Springfield Hy-Vee.

People can also learn some of the signs and symptoms for cardiovascular disease by following the link to the American Heart Association included with this story.