The Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) 2016 Heart-2-Heart luncheon was held Friday, December 2nd, at Matt’s Steakhouse in Rolla. The ninth annual event, presented by PCRMC and Mo-Sci Corporation, offered an opportunity to learn about heart health.
The Heart-2-Heart Committee, chaired by Annette Wells, helps each year to organize the luncheon, where attendees are treated to heart-healthy meals.
This year’s event raised over $32,000 for the Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation’s Heart-2-Heart Fund, which provides education, screenings and access to resources for cardiac care and rehabilitation. The fund also has assisted with providing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools and financial assistance to people in the community.
Timothy Martin, MD, was the featured speaker at this year’s event. He discussed the risk factors, warning signs, symptoms, diagnosis, procedures and treatments for coronary heart disease. Dr. Martin emphasized the need to raise awareness of coronary heart disease in women.
“While the death rate for coronary heart disease is gradually decreasing in men, it’s steadily rising in women,” Dr. Martin said. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the U.S., and prevention is crucial, according to Dr. Martin.
Atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up inside the arteries, can cause coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
Many female patients come to the Emergency Department with complaints that are atypical to coronary heart disease, and it’s up to the physicians, clinicians, nurses and other care providers to keep that in mind when diagnosing these women, according to Dr. Martin.
Risk factors of coronary heart disease include smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. However, for women, the risk may be higher after menopause or if they take certain birth control medications.
Symptoms of coronary heart disease can include chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea and feeling light-headed. Women with pregnancy-related conditions such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes also may be at higher risk.
To prevent coronary heart disease, Dr. Martin advises patients to eat a low-fat protein diet with fruits and vegetables, aim for a BMI (body mass index) of between 18.5 and 24.9 and keep their waist circumference below 35 inches. Lower your calorie intake and exercise more, he recommends, and walk at least 30 minutes a day, preferably after you eat.
In addition to Dr. Martin’s presentation, three local survivors of various heart conditions shared their stories in a video with the attendees. They were Louis Gilbert and Suzanne Jones, both of Rolla, and Dwight Sims, of Dixon.
Several businesses, organizations and individuals donated items for the raffle and silent auction that were held.
Orthopedic Surgeon Alan Heincker, DO, served as the master of ceremonies at the luncheon.
To learn more about heart health or to donate to the Heart-2-Heart Fund, visit pcrmc.com.