EveryMan(TM) Helps Men Keep Their Hearts Revving

Baylor Health Care System Foundation event presents ways for men to take care of their body's engine

Ask just about any man, and he can tell you off the top of his head how many miles per gallon his car gets, and how many miles he has on his odometer. And he never misses his scheduled maintenance and oil change.

Ask him about his blood pressure or cholesterol numbers, however, and it's a different story. And the maintenance? Forget about it.

Baylor Health Care System Foundation took an evening on May 26 to encourage men to treat their hearts as well as they do their cars at a private EveryMan™ reception.

Approximately 60 guests admired part of the rare car collection of hosts Carole and John Ridings Lee at their lovely home and heard from cardiologists on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas about ways to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.

In a presentation - entitled What's Under Your Hood? - Clyde Yancy, M.D., and Ravi Vallabhan, M.D., discussed risk factors for heart disease and the ways men can control their blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and other issues that impact cardiovascular health.

"Your heart is the most impressive four-cylinder engine in the world," said Dr. Yancy, who is also the president of American Heart Association. "And you are the mechanic. If you take good care of it, there's a very good chance of it lasting more than 90 years."

Dr. Vallabhan said staying heart-healthy is a matter of simple math.

"Weight gain is a simple calorie equation, and the only way to control it is through exercise," he said. "If you can commit to an active lifestyle, it's much easier to support to a diet you like."

More than one in three American men has cardiovascular disease, and it is the nation's leading cause of death among men. It killed almost 400,000 men in 2006, more than the next two causes combined, according to the American Heart Association.

Baylor Health Care System, which provides care through more than 100,000 cardiovascular patient visits per year, takes an integrated approach to heart and vascular care that combines the ability to practice excellent medicine with clinical research and advanced fellowships.

The clinical research studies done at Baylor are those that we believe can bring the best new medicines and technology on the horizon to the patient as soon as possible. In the last 20 years, more than 4,000 patients have participated in clinical trials at Baylor.

Baylor Dallas also has a strong belief in the value of graduate medical education and offers a cardiology fellowship program that consists of six fellows in general cardiology and two fellows who subspecialize in electrophysiology and interventional cardiology. The vascular surgery fellowship programs consists of four fellows. Seven of these fellowships are fully funded by donors to the Foundation.

The EveryMan event has expanded in scope to encompass different areas affecting men's health. Events in 2008 and 2009 raised in excess of $550,000 for prostate cancer initiatives at Baylor. The initiative will evolve in the future to address other topics, depending on current men's health issues and areas of need at Baylor.


  1. Don't smoke
    1. This includes cigars (even after golf) and all forms of smokeless tobacco
    2. No secondhand smoke (there's nothing in bars but  trouble)
    3. BBQ smoke is OK … but grill chicken or fish
  2. Achieve a normal weight
    1. Unless you're taller than 6 foot 4, you should weight less than 200 pounds.
    2. Your waist should be smaller than 40 inches. No exceptions!
      1. Getting the extended seat belt on the plane should be a wake-up call.
    3. Your tie should touch your belt.
    4. Look down. Can you see your toes?
  3. Exercise
    1. Using the remote control to watch SportsCenter doesn't count.
    2. Going to see baseball, softball, horse racing and football doesn't count.
    3. You need 20 minutes of real activity a day.
    4. Skip the spandex and the trainer - walk!
  4. Improve your diet
    1. Reduce sodium intake. Read the labels. Less than 2,000 mg per day is recommended
      1. Salt shakers are not your friend.
      2. Most salt is hidden.
      3. French fries are lethal.
    2. Get five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
      1. Ketchup is not a vegetable.
      2. Neither is mustard - even if it is yellow
      3. Fruit juice has too much sugar, so it doesn't count.
    3. Get two servings of fish per week.
      1. Skip the fried breaded fish.
      2. Same for the Hollandaise sauce
    4. Get three servings of fiber per day.
      1. Whole wheat bread has fiber. Brown bread does not.
      2. Oatmeal and grits are good.
      3. Skip the fiber tablets unless you are constipated.
    5. Drink less than 8 ounces of sugar-sweetened beverages (less than 100 calories) per day.
      1. Flavored coffees add up to 400 calories. One of these a day adds 20 pounds per year.
      2. 12 ounces of your favorite beverage (soda, beer) provides about 140 calories. If you drink two to three a day, see above.
    6. Bonus points
        < li>No trans fats - you have had your last doughnut. Same for breakfast muffins
      1. Have a handful of nuts per day - almonds are the best.
      2. You want polyunsaturated fats, which are found in nuts and olive oil.
  5. Know your blood pressure
    1. It should be less than 140/90.
    2. Try non-drug treatments first, then medications.
    3. Strokes are no fun.
  6. Know your cholesterol
    1. It should be less than 200.
    2. Diet is the first step, weight loss the second, drugs the third, heart attack is next. Got it?
  7. Know your blood sugar
    1. It should be less than 100.
    2. The most common form of diabetes can be prevented. Keeping your vision, kidneys and sexual function intact are good goals.

Take-home messages

  1. Do more, eat less.
  2. If you are doing nothing, do something. If you are doing something, do more.
  3. Eat well, live short. Eat right, live better.

American Heart Association

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,200 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: BSWHealth.com