According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), about 640,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. That accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Three Key Risk Factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking

Other conditions and lifestyle choices which put people at higher risk for heart disease include:

  • Family History
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use

Early intervention is key when it comes to heart health.

About 47% of sudden cardiac deaths occur outside the hospital, suggesting many people with heart disease don’t act on early warning signs. Knowing the warning signs of a heart attack can be crucial to saving someone’s life! Some of the warning signs include:

  • Chest Pain or discomfort
  • Upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats

Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone is having these symptoms!

Heart and Vascular Screenings save lives!

While heart disease is the number one cause of death in Americans, vascular disease can be debilitating and sometimes deadly as well. You can stay a few steps ahead with advanced heart and vascular screening technology offered periodically at Windom Area Health through Sanford Health. Screening is one of many ways we can help you live better and age smarter.

A heart screen includes a CT calcium score to analyze the amount of plaque in the coronary arteries, an EKG, cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass Index (BMI), and a Framingham score (which estimates the risk of developing heart disease within the next 10 years). The more plaque you have in the arteries of your heart, the greater chance of having a heart attack.

A vascular screen includes three types of scans. The stroke/carotid artery ultrasound checks patients for signs of a stroke, or problems with the carotid arteries. The abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound checks for an enlargement or bulge in the artery which is often hereditary and potentially fatal. The third scan is the ankle/brachial index. This procedure checks the blood flow in the legs which could indicate a higher risk for heart disease.

Our Services

Windom Area Health has seven outreach clinics per month run by providers who specialize in Cardiac Care:

Dr. Christopher, PAA, MD & Julie Langerock, CNP from North Central Heart out of Sioux Falls, SD. To schedule an appointment call 507-831-0670.

Dr. Scott Pham, MD and Dr. Orvar Jonsson, MD from Sanford Cardiovascular Institute out of Sioux Falls, SD. To schedule an appointment call 877-220-2929.

For more information related to Heart Disease, visit for CDE Fact Sheets, or visit the American heart Association’s website at, or

Upcoming Heart Health Events

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Sanford Heart & Vascular Screens

The Heart Screen™: For ages 40-75 and postmenopausal women
The Vascular Screen: For those 40 or older and have a personal or family history of cardiac disease, heart attack or stroke.
Type 1 diabetics should begin screens at age 30.
March 6th, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Windom Area Health
2150 Hospital Drive
Windom, MN
COST: $25 per screen
Register for screens by calling (888) 996-4673.
Learn more about our screenings at, keyword: screenings.

Blog Written By: Brenda Muller, Outreach Clinic Manager

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