Heart to Heart Presentation to Be Held

Uvalde Memorial Hospital (UMH) is celebrating American Heart Month throughout February. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases accounts for about 1 out of every 3 deaths in the U.S., and heart disease, specifically, is the number one cause of death in the U.S. About 92.1 million American adults are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke.

AHA recognizes “Life’s Simple 7” as seven key health factors and behaviors that increase risks for heart disease and stroke: smoking, physical inactivity, nutrition, overweight/obesity, cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. But, do not let the daunting statistics overwhelm you.

“There are many things individuals can do on a daily basis to better their heart health, many of which take very little effort,” states Dr. Shawn Ragbir, local cardiologist.

Locally, cardiology services are offered through the Cardiology Clinic of San Antonio at their office located at 1038 Garner Field Road. At the office, board certified cardiologist Dr. Shawn Ragbir treats patients Monday- Friday and has grown to love the Uvalde and surrounding area over the last 8 years.

Dr. Ragbir recommends several things for increasing or maintaining heart health:

  • Raise your good cholesterol for free – just exercise!
  • Be cautious of chronic use of pain medications like ibuprofen, which can increase your blood pressure.
  • Know that heart disease is the #1 cause of death in women and familiarize yourself with symptoms.
  • Lower your blood pressure with exercise. Regular exercise can decrease your blood pressure as much, or better than, some medications.

Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. Other healthy changes an individual can make to lower the risk or manage existing conditions include:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

Dr. Ragbir will be talking in detail about heart disease, the risk factors, prevention and more at the hospital’s upcoming Heart to Heart, a forum on heart health. The event will take place on Tuesday, February 20 from 5:30-7:00pm at El Progreso Memorial Library. Celebrate heart health more in depth with Dr. Ragbir as he candidly covers women and cardiovascular disease, microvascular heart disease, Broken Heart Syndrome, and whether baby aspirin is a daily necessity.

Dr. Andrezj Stypko will also be on hand to touch on the relation of diabetes to heart disease and the importance of wound care and regular foot exams for individuals diagnosed with diabetes. Dr. Stypko is board certified in family medicine and specializes in wound care and diabetic care.

Join the physicians for an open, understandable discussion and short question and answer session. The evening will be free of charge, open to the public, and include free blood pressure checks, free A1C testing if desired, light refreshments, and giveaways.

Other events hosted by UMH throughout February in celebration of American Heart Month include free blood pressure checks and heart health tips each Tuesday morning from 9:00- 11:00am at various locations. Remaining dates include Tuesday, February 20 at the Herby Ham Adult Activity Center located at 248 FM 3447 and Tuesday, February 26 at the Uvalde Nutrition Center at 420 West Nopal Street in Uvalde.