Open house to promote heart health

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 4, 2002

Free lipid screenings will be available Saturday at an open house of the Austin Medical Center Heart 'n Sole program at Oak Park Mall.

The open house begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. Free blood pressure checks also will be available. Visitors also will be able to find out more about the Heart 'n Sole mall walking program and speakers on keeping the heart healthy will present throughout the morning.

Austin Medical Center opened a Lipid Clinic about a month ago to help patients who have high cholesterol. Doctors refer patients who might need help managing their cholesterol to the clinic. The clinic provides lipid screenings and tips on how to keep cholesterol low, such as a healthy diet and exercise.

On Saturday, the first 120 to sign up will receive a free lipid screening, which analyzes the different types of cholesterol in the body. Those planning to be screened should avoid eating after midnight Friday.

The lipid screening checks for the amount of different types of lipids in the body.

The test looks at total cholesterol, which should be less than 200, low density lipids, which should be lower than 130, high density lipids, sometimes called "good cholesterol," and triglycerides, which should be less than 150, said Lipid Clinic nurse Cindy Fullerton.

The test usually costs more than $100 and sometimes is not covered by Medicare if the patient is not at high risk, Fullerton said.

People also will be able to sign up for the Heart 'n Sole program, which has almost 300 members. Members receive a T-shirt the first time they fill up a record card of their walks and are eligible for a $25 gift certificate at the mall for filled cards after that, said Suzanne Schmidt, AMC marketing coordinator.

"We're really excited about Saturday," Schmidt said.

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at