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Carthage hospital to host heart health fair today

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CARTHAGE — Many Americans die each year from a preventable and controllable medical condition: heart disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women— about 600,000 annually throughout the nation.

To help decrease the risk locally, Carthage Area Hospital staff members will come together from 9 a.m. to noon today at the hospital, 1001 West St., to offer advice, helpful hints and general information about heart disease, stroke, and healthy eating, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of February as Heart Month.

“Everyone from the hospital is participating,” said Natalie M. Burnham, hospital spokeswoman.

The main hallway will be lined with booths of information and/or demonstrations from hospital providers that will offer cooking demonstrations, blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks, dental screenings, stroke awareness and education, tips for beating the winter blues and more.

Prevention education is being encouraged so patients may avoid getting heart disease, which “refers to several types of heart conditions,” according to the CDC. Coronary heart disease is the most common and “occurs when a substance called plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.”

Mrs. Burnham said this is the first time in years the hospital has offered the heart health fair. Previously, the hospital hosted a heart-healthy dinnerin recognition of Heart Month.

Hospital staff encourage patients and community members throughout the year to become, or continue to be, heart-healthy, she said. The hospital has a team signed up for the American Heart Association’s annual North Country Heart Walk. Staff also continues to promote its collaboration with Upstate Medical University’s Stroke Center and its new $30,000 computer cart, which links the two hospitals electronically through telemedicine. Carthage Area Hospital aims to become the first designated primary stroke center in Jefferson County.

During today’s event, which is free and open to the public, the American Red Cross Traveling Donor Center will be on site, hosting a blood drive from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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