Three Heart-Health Classes offered at St. Francis Hospital

March 15, 2017

With more than 300 people attending the St. Francis Heart Health Fair in February, and most of them at increased risk for heart disease, the hospital is promoting three upcoming heart-health classes.

A smoking cessation program is offered by the St. Francis Wellness Center, working in conjunction with staff from the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Programs.

  • Smoking Cessation – “Kick the habit” – Free classes are offered every fourth Thursday at the St. Francis Wellness Center from 2:30-3:30. Call 706-596-4050 to register.

According to the 500 Cities project – a collaboration between CDC, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the CDC Foundation – approximately 20.3% of the adult population in Columbus smokes cigarettes. Approximately 480,000 deaths each year are attributed to cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke, making it the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. Smoking increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, multiple types of cancer, and chronic lung disease. Quitting smoking is beneficial to health at any age, and cigarette smokers who quit before age 35 have mortality rates similar to those who never smoked. (Source:

Two programs are being offered by the St. Francis Health Matters Diabetes Education Program which also provides the region’s only ADA-certified education program, including:

  • Pre-Diabetes Class – “Just a Little Sugar” – This class is designed to teach healthy eating habits with a goal of lowering blood glucose, and possibly preventing diabetes.  The two-hour program is offered six times a year, with the next program coming up on Tuesday, April 4, from 8:30-10:30 a.m.  The two-hour program cost is $20. For more information or to register, call Health Matters at 706-257-7715; option 2.
  • Weight Loss Class – “Change your Weighs” – For those who are tired of being overweight year after year, this class is designed to “change your weighs.” The eight-week program starts Wednesday, April 5, and continues through May 24.  Cost is $100. To register, call 706-257-7715; option 2. 

In Columbus, approximately 26.6% of adults are considered obese, according to the 500 Cities project. Being overweight or obese increases the risk for multiple chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and certain cancers. (Source:

Approximately 13.2% of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes. However, it is estimated that approximately one in four people with diabetes does not yet know they have the disease. The impact of diabetes in the U.S. has increased with the increasing prevalence of obesity. Multiple long-term complications of diabetes can be prevented through improved patient education and self-management and provision of adequate and timely screening services and medical care. (Source:

About the 500 Cities Project

The purpose of the 500 Cities Project is to provide city- and census tract-level small area estimates for chronic disease risk factors, health outcomes, and clinical preventive service use for the largest 500 cities in the United States. These small area estimates will allow cities and local health departments to better understand the burden and geographic distribution of health-related variables in their jurisdictions, and assist them in planning public health interventions. Learn more about the 500 Cities Project.