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franklin county times

Wear red for heart awareness this month

Heart awareness is a project Book Lovers Study Club supports annually. This project falls under the GFWC Health Awareness Community Service Program.

February is American Heart Month. Its purpose is to remind everyone to focus on their heart and cardiovascular health.

For 2022, the focus is on hypertension, or high blood pressure. This is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke.

National Wear Red Day is this Friday, Feb. 4. So everyone, remember to GO RED!

By doing so, you raise awareness about this disease and support research, education and health impact initiatives that help save lives.

One of our devoted club members, Martha Sibley, has experienced three heart procedures since September.

Her heart issue began with shortness of breath, fatigue and low hemoglobin. After a visit with her gastroenterologist and cardiologist, she was told her leaky heart valve and blood thinner medication were causing these symptoms.

The first procedure was heart valve replacement; the second was a device called an AMULET attached to her heart; and third was a balloon procedure to get the heart valve leakage to at least 10 percent, but they were able to seal it at 100 percent.

Today Martha is told all devices are working properly, and she will be able to live an active life with her healthy heart.

When asked what she recommends to others with possible heart issues or questions, she replied, “Everyone needs to listen to their bodies, and don’t try to diagnose yourself. Also, it’s important to pay close attention to your family history” because her family has a history of heart issues. “And always seek proper medical help for yourself and your loved ones.”

Today, according to research, one in four deaths in the United States is attributable to heart disease. Heart disease affects all ages, genders and ethnicities.

By eating a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity and managing your cholesterol and blood pressure, you can reduce your risk for heart disease.

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