• February 23, 2020

Give our heart some love - Odessa American: Local News

e-Edition Subscribe

Give our heart some love

MCH offers heart health checkups

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, February 9, 2020 2:45 am

Andrew M. Freeman said patients sometimes find it funny when he talks about love while discussing ways to keep their hearts healthy.

A cardiologist at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colo., Freeman said there are five recommendations he makes to patients to help them in the battle against cardiovascular disease, and emotional support is one of those items.

Being able to connect with others and having a strong support system, Freeman said, can help in the long run when it comes to their heart health.

“People always love when they talk about love, but there’s really data behind (its benefits),” he said.

While most people think about chocolate hearts during the month of February, Freeman and other health professionals focus on bringing awareness to heart health during February.

According to Freeman, heart disease is the biggest killer of Americans per year, and the American Heart Association states heart disease kills more people in a year than all forms of cancer combined.

To help put the number in perspective, figures from the American Heart Association show heart attacks affect more people every year than there are people in Dallas.

In Odessa, Medical Center Health System is offering residents a heart health checkup for $75. During the screening participants will be able to learn their Calcium Score, their blood pressure, body mass index, and cholesterol and triglycerides numbers.

No physician’s orders are needed for the exam, and no insurance will be filed to get tested, the MCH website states.

Odessa Regional Medical Center also is offering a Heartview Scan for $75.

“Freeman said in addition to support, a lifestyle change he recommends includes a low-fat, plant-based diet that includes foods such as oatmeal, salads, and encourages the eating of less meat.”

With more food options available and information out there, Freeman said the diet is a great place to start for lifestyle changes.

“It’s incredibly easy to do,” he said.

Freeman also said he advises people to do at least 30 minutes of breathless exercise: where someone works out until they reach the point of breathlessness. He also said that at first, getting to 30 minutes will take longer because people have to build stamina over time.

Reducing stress and sleeping more are the final ways Freeman recommends people take care of their heart. Doing yoga or taking a hike can help reduce someone’s stress, and getting at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep will help improve someone’s health.

And if there are too many rules, Freeman said he tries to keep it as simple as possible.

“If you want to get it right … I tell people to eat mostly plants, exercise more, stress less, love more, and sleep more,” he said.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Humidity: 62%
Winds: S at 10mph
Feels Like: 47°

Your Extended Forecast


High 65°/Low 46°
Partly cloudy. Lows overnight in the mid 40s.


High 72°/Low 43°
Windy with clouds giving way to sun. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the low 40s.


High 72°/Low 39°
Sunshine. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the upper 30s.
Online Features

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.