With the mission of inspiring people to take care of their health and especially their hearts, the Calexico Wellness Center hosted a health fair at the Calexico Women’s Improvement Club where the community was able to hear informational presentations and talk to different health agencies.
“Every year we do a big educational health fair regarding the heart and how we can prevent heart attacks, strokes, and high cholesterol,” said Blanca Morales, CEO of Calexico Wellness Center.
The main speaker was Dr. Sonia Ponce. She is Cardiology Specialist in Chula Vista, California, and has over 14 years of experience in the medical field. She works in the prevention of cardiovascular problems.
“I have a high interest in working with these people in the prevention before it happens and afterward so we can prevent another event,” Dr. Ponce said.
When it comes to diabetes, the Imperial Valley has one of the highest rates in California. A majority of diabetes patients are of Hispanic descent. That’s why it is important to moderate what people eat to control diabetes and high cholesterol, Ponce said.
“We were all born with a healthy heart so we have to live a life with habits that help us prevent diabetes, hypertension, or cholesterol. What makes a difference is what you eat and how you exercise,” she said.
Heart disease is one of the most widespread and complicated health challenges in the United States and around the world. Cardiovascular disease — disorders of the heart and blood vessels — accounted for more than 860,000 (about one in three) deaths in the United States in 2017, according to the American Heart Association.
Worldwide, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, killing 17.9 million people every year — a number that’s expected to grow past 23.6 million by 2030. About 80 percent of these deaths are from heart attack and stroke, disproportionately affecting low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Heart Federation.
In the United States, more than 126 million people had some form of cardiovascular disease between 2015 and 2018.