San Juan VA Medical Center Goes Red for Women - VA Caribbean Healthcare System
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VA Caribbean Healthcare System


San Juan VA Medical Center Goes Red for Women

February 8, 2017

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Every February the Veterans Administration Caribbean Healthcare System (VACHS) along with the American Heart Association Puerto Rico Chapter (AHA) come together to educate patients and visitors of the VACHS regarding the risks associated to poor nutrition habits, lack of exercise and living a sedentary life by explaining the impact these habits may have in someone’s heart by celebrating “VA Goes Red for Women Veterans.”

This year’s event took place on 3 February, at the San Juan VA Medical Center. During the event, cardiologists, personnel from the AHA, nutritionists, physical, occupational and recreational therapists joined the event and performed presentations of their areas of expertise to maintain the attendance informed on how to reduce the risks of heart related illnesses by taking home some expert advice.

According to VACHS Cardiologist, Dr. Hidelisa Borges Aponte, “cardiovascular diseases affect women of all ages. Among young women, the use of contraceptives and smoking increase the risks in a 20 percent. Besides that, the risks increase with age, sedentary life and poor nutritional or eating habits.”

“Should women in their 20’s have healthy habits, it is known they will have better opportunities for not developing cardiovascular diseases by a 73 percent and up to a 46 percent less chances to developing diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol,” said Borges.

Even though this may sound hard to control, the truth is that there are ways to prevent cardiovascular diseases through abstinence and establishing healthy habits that may be beneficial to those living in a fast pace environment.

According to Eduardo Lamadrid, American Heart Association / American Stroke Association Multicultural Initiatives Director, it is highly recommended to make some time and modifications during the day such as exercising, meditation, respiratory exercises among others.

However, reducing the risks are not only limited to these modifications, but also to nutritional habits that may help reduce the possibility of a heart disease.

“I am confident that there is a solution for those having difficulties in keeping up with a healthy nutrition due to the fast pace environment we live in. As previously mentioned by one of the nutritionists here, reducing the amounts of salt and fats by replacing them with fruits and vegetables may reduce risks,” said Lamadrid.

“Another option is to bring food prepared at home and take it to work. Besides being healthy it is also economical and helps maintain healthy eating habits,” said Lamadrid.

The VA Goes Red for Women Veterans is a Veterans Affairs national campaign aimed to keep female Veterans aware of the services available to them at VA facilities and to keep them informed on how to prevent heart problems by embracing good nutritional habits and physical activity.