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Hospitals offer women's event for heart month

As an active mom who didn't eat fast food, Kirsten Jantze never thought she was at risk for heart problems until she attended the Adventist Hinsdale Hospital women's heart symposium.

At last year's event, Jantze, a Riverside resident, learned she had high cholesterol and could be at risk for future heart problems.

"In my mind, I don't fit the model for somebody at heart risk," she said.

This year's symposium, "It's Time To Take Care of Me," is at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Hinsdale Community House, 415 W. Eighth St., organized by Adventist La Grange Memorial and Adventist Hinsdale hospitals.

Jantze said the event reminds women to take care of themselves and use their girlfriends as support.

"This is one of those things we need to remind each other to go to the doctor and take care of each other," she said.

The event includes a health screening for LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure and body-mass index.

While waiting for their results, women can get a massage and visit the different vendors for free samples of various products and information.

Cardiologists Patricia Martin and Duane Follman will be present for one-on-one consultations so the women can ask questions about the results of their screenings.

It was the one-on-one time Jantze spent with cardiologist James McMahon that got her start schedule a visit to work on getting her cholesterol down.

Because her father had died at age 54, McMahon wanted Jantze to start exercising, take medication and drastically change her eating habits. Jantze got her LDL cholesterol down from 197 to 90 in three months, and she said it's now down to 68.

"It's knowledgeable," she said of the heart symposium. "(Heart disease) is the No. 1 killer of women. At least you have a choice."

During lunch, neurologist Christopher Simon will talk about "Stoke in Women: The Gender Gap" and cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon Frank Lutrin will discuss "Women and Heart Disease."

Ted Paarlberg, the hospital's regional executive for the Adventist cardiovascular network, said typically two cardiologists talk to the women about their health risks, but this year they wanted to mix it up.

"We get a lot of repeat customers and they get a different message than in the past," he said.

Following the discussions, Lutrin and Simon will join Martin and Follman to answer any questions.

The event costs $20. To register, call 1-(877)-65-HEART.

The hospital is continuing its month-long education for women by handing out red apples this Friday at the hospital's cafeteria for the Go Red movement.

"We get to the people before they get to the ice cream and cake," Paarlberg said.,hi-heartmonth-021209-s1.article