According to the American Heart Association, a heart attack occurs every 20 seconds, with a heart attack death about every minute. Sound scary? Almost twice as many men than women die of heart attacks.

Across the nation, June 11-17 was celebrated as Men’s Health Week. To honor the occasion, The Saint Mary’s Regional Health System Vintage Club hosted “Lunch With Your Doctor,” a monthly event. Cardiologist, Dr. Dai-yuan Wang of Russellville Cardiology Consultants, spoke to the Vintage Club on the topic of men’s heart health and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

“Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to promote a healthy lifestyle, and walking is one of the best ways to begin or enhance your exercise regimen. It doesn’t matter how far you walk or how fast you walk, it is how much time you spend walking,” said Dr. Wang. “Always aim for at least twenty minutes of cardiovascular activity each day.” To maintain overall health, not only is activity highly recommended, a healthy diet is critical too.

Wang encouraged Vintage members to replace high fat and high calorie foods with fruits and vegetables. “There are some things we can’t change, such as age, gender, race, or family medical history, but we can take care of ourselves by eating right, quitting smoking, treating hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol” said Wang. Wang also discussed the importance of having regular checkups with one’s primary care physician.

“Symptoms of heart problems are not always apparent, but a physician can help determine one’s risk,” Wang added. Susan Newton, Assistant Director of the Pharmacy at Saint Mary’s gave an overview of the “File of Life” initiative sponsored by Saint Mary’s. The “File of Life” is a magnetic card that is personalized with an individual’s medical information, prescription information, and allergies.

Pope County Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are trained to look for the magnet on the refrigerator of the home they are in. In an emergency situation, the File of Life can help save your life because it provides accurate information about one’s medications. It helps give patients and physicians important medication information that is needed during a regular doctor visit or in an emergency situation —all in one compact card. A small version of the File of Life is also available for men to carry in their wallets and women to carry in their purses to doctor visits. “Saint Mary’s Regional Health System is committed to proving quality health care and education to our community,” said Mike McCoy, Chief Executive Officer. “We are very pleased to have already distributed more than 2,500 File of Life cards throughout the River Valley.”

The File of Life cards are available at your local pharmacy or at the Saint Mary’s Volunteer Information desk and hospital switchboard free of charge. Dr. Wang concluded the luncheon with a question and answer session from the crowd of almost 50. Russellville Cardiology Consultants is located at 106 Englewood in Russellville. To contact Dr. Wang, please call 479-968-4311. Members of Saint Mary’s Vintage Club receive discounts in the cafeteria, the volunteer gift shop, a free cholesterol/glucose screening during their birth month, and monthly newsletters with preferential notification about the upcoming Vintage wellness seminars, travel excursions, and events.

For more information about the Vintage Club and upcoming events like “Lunch With Your Doctor,” contact Lauren Rexroat at 479-964-5683.