Published on February 10, 2018

Nash Heart Center hosts Healthy Heart Fair

February is American Heart Month and the Nash Heart Center is hosting a Healthy Heart Fair on Saturday, February 10, from 10 AM until noon in the lobby of the Nash Heart Center on the Nash UNC Health Care campus. The public is invited to this free event, and the first 100 visitors will receive free lipid/glucose testing.

The goal of the Healthy Heart Fair is to educate attendees on how to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Booths will be set up to provide information on nutrition and heart-healthy eating, smoking cessation, and how to administer CPR.

Hospital staff will be offering free blood pressure checks. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 103 million adults in the United States have high blood pressure – nearly half of all adults and this number is increasing, in part, due to our aging population and increased life expectancy.

Nash Heart Center staff will also teach guests the early warning signs and symptoms of heart attack – chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain, and weakness.

“About half of all heart attacks are preceded by mild symptoms,” said Dr. Stephanie Martin of UNC Cardiology at Nash. “Recognizing early symptoms and getting medical care may prevent a heart attack or minimize damage to the heart since 85% of damage occurs within the first two hours of an attack.”

Dr. Martin will offer private consultations with visitors at the heart fair, discussing individual risk factors.

Martin offers a few general tips for maintaining good heart health:

  1. Exercise regularly. “Exercise and physical activity greatly decrease your risk of heart disease. Any amount of exercise is good, but at least 30 minutes a day is better.”
  2. Avoid tobacco in any form. “Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes is as bad for your heart as it is for your lungs. Secondhand smoke should be avoided, too.”
  3. Maintain a healthy weight. “Extra weight, especially around the belly, increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Losing 5-10% of this excess weight can improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Small changes in diet, exercise, and weight can make a big difference in overall health and dramatically reduce the risk of developing cardiac disease.”

The American Heart Association reports that cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death in the world, claiming nearly 18 million lives in 2015. In the United States, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death.

For more information about the Healthy Heart Fair or the Nash Heart Center, contact Sarah Heenan at 252 962.8330 or email

News Media Contact

Kenyon "K.J." Askew, Jr., Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, at 252-962-8766 or by email.

If calling after hours, please dial the main hospital line at 252-962-8000 and ask to speak with the nursing supervisor on duty and identify yourself as a member of the news media. He or she will be able to assist you.

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