Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

April 28, 2010

Women hear a lesson on heart health at annual luncheon

“I’m not afraid,” said Dr. David Parrish as he began to address the attentive group of women he faced at Tuesday’s Pink Bag Lunch and Women’s Health Forum. “I grew up with two sisters.”

Parrish, a cardiologist from Fort Worth, was grossly outnumbered at the luncheon of about 350 women guests, but he embraced the occasion at the Cleburne Conference Center to talk about something he is passionate about — heart health, especially in women.

His talk was titled “Heart Tests Invented by Men for Men, How Does A Girl Have A Chance?”

“A lot of studies done on heart disease were invented by men and tested on male patients,” he said when talking about the origins of heart health tests. “But eventually we recognized our error, so many of the tests done in the last 10 to 12 years involved women.”

Parrish discussed several tests that can be done to evaluate the heart’s health, including nuclear SPECT or Myoview, PET imaging and coronary angiography, which he called the last option.

“Coronary angiography is the final stopping point because what we’re doing is taking a cast or picture of what the inside of your heart looks like,” he said. “There’s nowhere to hide on this one. The problem is it is an invasive procedure, so there are some risks to it.”

Prevention is Parrish’s No. 1 recommendation.

“The most important thing you can do for yourself, and I tell my patients this all the time, is to take care of yourself and live your life and do the best you can not to see me,” he said.

His recommendations for preserving your heart’s health included:

zx Exercise, exercise, exercise.

zx Screening for hypertension and diabetes.

zx No smoking and no tobacco, even secondhand.

zx Know your family history, especially parents and siblings.

zx Get your cholesterol checked.

zx Lose weight, but you just need to leave obesity land, the rest is cosmetic.

The annual Pink Bag Lunch and Women’s Health Forum is hosted by the Friends of Texas Health Cleburne and the Black & White Gala.

Margaret Marti donated funds to the lunch, and Lemon Sisters Cafe and Bakery provided lunches in pink bags, which Texas Health Cleburne volunteers passed out.

The Black & White Gala raises money for Shots for Tots, which provides childhood immunizations for Johnson County children at low or no cost; Mammograms Are A Must!, which gives free mammograms for Johnson County women with no health insurance; Know Your PSA, which provides free prostate cancer screening clinics for men of Johnson County, and Ladders in Nursing Careers, which provides shortened work weeks and funding for nurses and other hospital employees who wish to pursue advanced education.

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