An incorrect telephone number for free blood-pressure screenings Saturday at Alexandria's Terrace Hospital appeared in Wednesday's Health Calendar. The correct number is 836-6900, extension 355.
Developing healthy heart habits at a young age is the theme of this year's Heart Month, sponsored by the American Heart Association.
"Evidence suggests the build-up of atherosclerosis thickening of artery walls due to fatty deposits begins at a young age, in the teens and early twenties," said Dr. David L. Pearle, cardiologist at Georgetown University Hospital and president of the Nation's Capital Affiliate of the American Heart Association.
Children who are overweight will have higher cholesterol and blood pressure levels as they get older, Pearle said. A study published last week in The New England Journal of Medicine found the beginning stages of hardening of the arteries in teen-agers with high cholesterol levels.
The emphasis is on educating both parents and children and to encourage parents to develop good habits so children can learn from their behavior. Some of the programs are "The Heart Treasure Chest" for teaching heart-healthy eating habits to preschoolers and "Save a Sweet Heart" to get teen-agers to stop smoking. Additionally, the Heart Association encourages all people to stop smoking, have their blood pressure checked, decrease salt intake and exercise regularly.
Heart attack, stroke and related cardiovascular disease are the number one killer in the country, accounting for almost 1 million deaths a year nationally, and more than 1,500 in in the District, Pearle said.
For a copy of the pamphlet "Why Risk Heart Attack" and for more information on Heart Month programs, call: 337-6400.