By Gynna P. Gagelonia
 
PHA-Cainta Heart Fair draws more Healthy Lifestyle (HL) awareness.
 
At least 1,500 people trooped to the People’s Center in Cainta, Rizal to avail of free risk factor screenings (consultation, blood pressure taking, cholesterol and fasting blood sugar tests and electrocardiogram) for adults and children (including rheumatic fever/rheumatic heart disease diagnosis) and to attend the basic Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation demonstration, majority were the local barangay health workers (BHWs).
 
Around 421 of the 1,500 were returning and new adult and pedia patients who were issued PHA HL passports during the World Heart Day Fair 2011 on 26 September 2011.  The HL passport shows the results of the diagnostic tests and their cardiac risks in 10 years.
 
More than half of the women and men who  were  assessed last September 26, 2012  were diagnosed to be hypertensive or suffering from high blood pressure. A few were at risk of acquiring heart disease in 10 years. Both the results of their previous and follow-up tests would be used in the data gathering for the risk factor/CVD prevalence in Cainta, with the help of the municipal hospital.
 
The female-dominated BHWs have been empowered to do major tasks as advocates of a healthy home, barangay, town and nation. These women who have assumed multi-roles fall prey to lifestyle diseases like hypertension and diabetes that may be triggered by many factors including neglect, stress at home and at work.
 
High blood pressure now takes almost half of women over the age of 45 and about 40 percent have abnormal cholesterol. High levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol protect women before the age of 56, but because of the deterioration of lifestyle habits that now include smoking, low HDL levels is a potential unrecognized risk factor in women added to lack of exercise and weight problems. 

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