London Drugs holds heart health clinics

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RICHMOND, British Columbia — London Drugs is helping raise public awareness of the preventive measures that can minimize the risk of heart disease by encouraging customers to attend a Healthy Heart Clinic at 68 of its locations.

The program, which runs through March 23, is part of Heart Month in Canada, the western Canada drug chain said.

Clinic pharmacists are offering one-on-one screenings and evaluations, each of which takes about 45 minutes, the company said. Pharmacists measure each customer’s total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, random glucose and blood pressure, and evaluate risk factors such as family history, age, level of exercise, diet, smoking history and high blood pressure.

The pharmacists also focus on ways of minimizing these risks, which might include a discussion of changes in diet, fitness routines or ­lifestyle.

Each appointment is collaborative and customized for the patient, the company said. In some instances, a London Drugs pharmacist might contact physicians to recommend further medical intervention, the company added.

“Prevention ultimately starts with knowing your risks. Often there are no symptoms until the underlying disease has progressed, which is what makes routine screening essential,” said Gianni Del Negro, a London Drugs pharmacist. Many Canadians miss the signs of heart disease that often precede a heart attack or other cardiovascular problems, he said.

Nine in 10 adult Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke, according to London Drugs, which cited data showing that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women and the second-leading cause of death among men in Canada. The company also noted that premature heart disease and stroke often could be prevented through healthy behaviors.



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