IF you want to enjoy Valentine’s Day this year, take care of your heart, literally.

This, after the Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas warned that heart disease remains the leading killer among adults above 30 years old in the region.

Dr. Annessa Patindol, medical coordinator for DOH-Central Visayas' Lifestyle-Related Diseases Division, said that since December last year, at least 65,564 persons in Central Visayas were found to be suffering from heart disease.

Patindol said that in Central Visayas, many people within the ages of 70 years old and above die due to heart-related diseases. They also noted that younger people, especially those 30 years old and above, are also dying from heart disease. She blamed an unhealthy lifestyle and work-related stress as the main culprits behind the increasing prevalence of heart disease.

Patindol said that regular exercise and eating a balanced diet are just some of the ways to prevent heart disease.

“Exercise at least 30 minutes a day and eat foods with low salt and cholesterol. Also, avoid eating foods with trans-fat and saturated fat,” Patindol said.

Patindol also urged those with heart ailments to approach their nearest rural health units and register for the DOH’s hypertension club so they can receive free medication.

“In order to give love to others, you must love yourself first. You can do that by being careful with your health,” she added.