AUSTIN — A West Side hospital is offering free heart screenings for uninsured residents of the surrounding communities throughout February.
Loretto Hospital is offering same-day heart screenings for qualifying West Side residents. For more information or to schedule a screening, call at 833-854-5683 or visit https://www.lorettohospital.org.
Improving cardiovascular health in the area is essential for addressing the steep health inequalities faced by Black Chicagoans and those living on the West Side.
“Knowing your risk for heart disease is the first step in keeping your heart healthy,” said Dr. Anosh Ahmed, chief operating officer at Loretto Hospital.
In some areas of the West Side, the average life expectancy is 16 years shorter than somebody living downtown, according to a report by Virginia Commonwealth University. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a leading contributor to the life expectancy gap facing Black people is cardiovascular disease.
The hospital is offering the free screenings in recognition of American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for all Americans, though death rates are higher among Black people.
In addition to the screenings, Loretto Hospital is giving free CT Calcium Score scans, which can detect calcium deposits on blood vessels in the heart that can increase the risk of a heart attack.
“The Loretto Hospital wants people to become educated on how to better care for their hearts, so they can live healthier, stronger and longer lives,” Ahmed said.
Pascal Sabino is a Report for America corps member covering Austin, North Lawndale and Garfield Park for Block Club Chicago.
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