Love your heart

HARLINGEN – The community is invited to a “Love Your Heart” Health Fair with free health screenings on Saturday, February 18, from 7 to 10 a.m. at Valley Baptist Medical Center, 2101 Pease Street in Harlingen (on the first floor of the hospital, South Tower entrance, in the Woodward Conference Center).

Free screenings will include blood pressure, blood glucose testing for diabetes for those at risk, and body composition (percentage of fat, muscle, water and bone in the body).

Also there will be a free “lipid panel” screening (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides) for the following groups of patients who could be at potential risk for heart disease:

• Men ages 35 years or older

• Women ages 45 years or older

• Men ages 20 to 35 years and women ages 20 to 45 years with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as family history, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or other risk factors.

Fasting is required for the screenings, but Valley Baptist will serve a free heart-healthy breakfast after participants are tested.

Participants must make an appointment for the screenings in advance, by calling toll-free 1-866-608-2273.

Valley residents are encouraged to find out whether they are at risk for heart disease, and to learn how to recognize and prevent the symptoms of heart disease.

The testing at the “Love Your Heart” event will allow Valley residents to complete an online risk assessment to estimate their risk of developing heart disease at

The screenings and breakfast are part of a series of events being held at Valley Baptist in February in observance of National Heart Month. Residents are also invited to free “Dessert with the Doctors” on heart disease on Monday, February 7 and Thursday, February 16 at the Woodward Conference Center.

Speakers include cardiologists Dr. Farley Neasman speaking on “Cardiac Risk Factors” (February 7), and Dr. Darren Ramoutar speaking on “My Swollen Legs!” (February 16).

Please RSVP for these events by calling 1-866-608-2273.