Heart Awareness

February is Heart Health Awareness Month, and local health providers are doing what they can to help you get and keep a healthy heart.

The South Georgia Health District is even offering free blood pressure screenings to help identify problems. The unmistakable sound of a blood pressure cuff can be a lifesaving procedure according to members of the South Georgia Health District.

"It’s important to keep up with your blood pressure, because untreated blood pressure can lead to heart disease and cardiovascular over a period of time if your blood pressure is not checked, and its uncontrolled, it causes stress and strain on your heart," says Nurse Priscilla Register.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, and it’s no different in Georgia. The latest numbers say more than 24,000 Georgians a year die from heart disease.

People like Alfred Goosby are at a higher risk because they also have to deal with diabetes, which makes them two to four times as likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

"I think it should be part of your everyday life, because heart failure can be something that you're not aware of it, you can get these kinds of checks then someone can give you an idea how to protect you from having heart trouble," says Alfred.

Experts say everyone needs to keep an eye on their heart health, especially those with serious medical problems. By taking simple steps like getting your blood pressure taken, nurses say you can reduce your chances of being effected by the nation's biggest killer.

You can also find free cardiovascular screenings at many local fire departments.