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Free health fair offers heart checks and healthy life resources

The community is invited to the Texas Diabetes Institute Wednesday, Feb. 28 from 9-11:30 a.m. for a heart health fair. The event is free but registration is required.

Event attendees can get free blood pressure and glucose tests, learn hands-only CPR and participate in a no-cost heart risk assessment. Dr. David Cardona Estrada, cardiologist with University Health, will lead an interactive session starting at 9 a.m. This is a good opportunity for the public to bring their cardiovascular questions to a heart specialist.

From the outside, Rufino Salinas seemed healthy. With more time after retirement, he went to the gym three times a week, and he tried to eat a healthy diet. Sometimes he felt tired after going for walks, and once he fainted while taking out the trash, but he brushed the events off, telling himself that he was simply out of shape.

Salinas’ continuous lack of energy finally prompted him to visit the doctor. After several tests, including a nuclear test recommended by his cardiologist, the medical team found that part of his heart was not functioning properly. His aortic valve was not opening as it should, causing blood flow issues to his heart. The diagnosis, if left untreated, could cause life-threatening complications. Salinas was immediately referred to University Hospital for surgery.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for one in four men and one in five women every year. Many conditions can affect the heart or blood vessels. The good news is that these conditions are largely preventable. Healthy lifestyle routines, including a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise, are beneficial, but getting checkups can be crucial.

“I was in denial and refused to acknowledge that something might be wrong. I would make up excuses for my fainting spells, but looking back, it is unusual for a healthy person to run out of breath,” Salinas said. “I want others to learn from my story and to visit their doctor regularly for checkups.”

Learn more about heart and vascular care at University Health.


Heart Health Fair and Q&A Session


Interviews available with Dr. David Cardona Estrada, cardiologist, and Rufino Salinas, heart patient


Wednesday, Feb. 28, 9-11:30 a.m.


Andrea Wazir, senior public relations specialist, 512-762-0457

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