Preventive Cardiology is steps that should be taken to prevent cardiac and other related conditions. All of the following cardiac and vascular conditions are preventable: first heart attack, recurrent heart attack, angina, stroke, atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, congestive heart failure due to heart muscle disease, congestive heart failure due to valvular heart disease, most arrhythmias, syncope or fainting, and sudden death. Some are more easily prevented than others but a preventive strategy is available for treatment of every one.
All of us would like to prevent ever having an illness for as long as we can. However, cardiac disease is a common cause of serious illness in the United States and the most frequent cause of death for both men and women. Preventing such health problems takes two forms.
This represents efforts to prevent the recurrence, progression, or complications of a cardiac problem which has already developed. This can mean using various strategies to prevent recurrence of atherosclerotic heart disease such as another heart attack or stroke. Progression of cardiac muscle dysfunction needs to be halted before heart failure sets in. We always wish to prevent complications requiring emergency room visits, hospitalization, or cardiac surgery.
This is prevention of a cardiac disease in someone likely to get it in the future. Evaluation and treatment are useful only for people who have conditions known to make a cardiac illness much more likely. These conditions are called "risk factors". A prime example is genetic predisposition because of a family history of early heart attack. Other examples are elevated cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes.
A Plan For Prevention
Prevention is a long term process. After an accurate diagnosis, your treatment plan involves the following:
- Providing information and education about your cardiac condition so that you can understand how best to deal with it yourself.
- Agreeing on the treatment strategy.
- Setting goals for changes in lifestyle, diet, exercise, weight reduction and use of medications if necessary.
- Re-evaluating your progress periodically.
- Reviewing new information with you regularly. Cardiology is still progressing rapidly and new treatment strategies emerge every year.
Preventive Cardiology and Your Doctor
Your Doctor should be aware of all aspects of your specialty care. Therefore, our Center will communicate with your doctor frequently to coordinate this part of your healthcare program. We will forward copies of all tests we do and obtain copies of blood work and other data from your physician.