Vital Signs: February is American Heart Month

A Time To Remember To Care For Your Cardiovascular System

Right now, 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease, far surpassing all other causes. That statistic could be reduced, because heart disease is often preventable — and even when it isn’t, early detection and careful management can lessen its effects. More than 40% of Americans have a risk factor for heart disease. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are all significant risk factors.

To help people in our community detect heart problems before they become more serious, Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute offers a free heart-disease risk assessment that includes a fasting lipid profile (total cholesterol, HDL, risk ratio and glucose), ankle/brachial index, resting 12-lead EKG, body fat/body mass index, blood pressure and pulse oximetry testing and more.

Participants must not currently be under the care of a cardiologist or have a known history of heart disease. Because of the blood testing, an eight-hour fast is required beforehand. Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call 410-543-7026 to schedule a free Heart Smart appointment.

There are also free vascular screenings available for both men and women. Among Americans older than 65, 12% to 20% have peripheral arterial disease, but only one-third show symptoms. Many people mistake the symptoms of PAD for something else. People over 55 who are at higher risk for vascular disease should be screened to detect these vascular problems before they develop into something much more serious.

Those with risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, heart disease or family history of vascular disease, and people who have a symptom, such as leg pain or numbness in the leg or foot, may be eligible for a free screening at Peninsula Regional Medical Center. If you are 55 or older, please call the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute at 410-543-7123 to find out if you qualify for the free vascular screenings and to reserve a date and time.

“These are all efforts to ensure the health of our communities and to achieve health and wellness across our continuum of care.”

— Jeanne E. Ruff, Executive Director of the Guerrieri Heart & Vascular Institute


The following screenings will be offered at Peninsula Regional Family Medicine Ocean Pines, located inside PRMC’s Ocean Pines Health Pavilion, at 11101 Cathage Road, near the North Gate.

January 9  •  March 12 •  May 14 •  July 9  •  September 10  •  November 12

Heart Smart Screenings are offered at Peninsula Regional Medical Center every Thursday.
To schedule an appointment at either location, call 410-543-7026.


January 9:      PRMC, 100 E. Carroll St., Salisbury

January 23:    PRMC, 100 E. Carroll St., Salisbury

February 13:   Adult Fitness Ocean Pines, 11101 Cathage Road, Berlin

February 27:   PRMC, 100 E. Carroll St., Salisbury

To schedule an appointment, call 410-543-7123.

Taking advantage of these free screenings may save you from a lengthier stay in the hospital later down the road.

Please take care of your heart for American Heart Month, and every day.

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