Initiative aims to screen 1,000 hearts, save 100 lives

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Cardiovascular disease kills more than 600,000 people in the U.S. each year. It is the most common cause


Porter Regional Hospital offers
comprehensive care under one roof


of death in the United States ... and also one of the most preventable.

Have you ever wondered what your chances are of developing heart disease? Well, understanding your risks can help tip the scales in your favor.

That’s why the Heart & Vascular Institute at Franciscan St. James Health is launching the most ambitious campaign the south and southwest suburbs have ever seen to help men and women over age 40 to get a peek into their hearts’ futures.

Screen 1,000 hearts, save 100 lives

To celebrate National Heart Month, Franciscan St. James is launching a yearlong heart screening initiative with a goal of performing 1,000 free heart screens, in an effort to help save 100 lives.

“Cardiovascular disease can be highly preventable,” said Patricia Peele, director of the Franciscan St. James Heart & Vascular Institute. “The first step is being aware of your risk factors.”

Reducing risk

Non-modifiable risk factors are those you cannot change, such as age, gender, and family history of heart disease.

Modifiable risk factors are those you can control or change. Among the most documented and studied, is smoking. Smokers are four times more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease than non-smokers. Additional factors that put people at risk — but are controllable — are high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity or being overweight, stress, a high fat diet, and physical inactivity.

“It’s important that people know their numbers,” Peele said. “Many of these conditions are all controllable with medications and lifestyle modifications. Some people who lose weight and increase physical activity not only improve their cardiovascular health, but find that they no longer need to take medications.”

The Screen 1,000 Hearts screening now offered by the Franciscan St. James Heart & Vascular Institute includes Ankle Brachial Index (ABI), Body Mass Index (BMI), blood pressure, fasting blood sugar and waist girth. A $135 value, the screening is available for free to adults age 40 and over, and available until Dec. 31, 2013.

To get your free heart screen, complete the Franciscan St. James Free Online Heart Risk Assessment at Upon completion of your online assessment, Franciscan St. James will send you a certificate for your free heart screening.

The staff of the award-winning Franciscan St. James Heart & Vascular Institute in Olympia Fields will perform your free heart screening.

Provided by Franciscan St. James Health