With approximately 84 million Americans suffering from some form of cardiovascular disease, heart disease has been and continues to be at the top of the list of the country’s most serious health crises. As the disease claims approximately 2,200 people per day, many physicians are stressing preventive care as successful method for taking action. In fact, many venerated medical programs such as Mayo Clinic and Weill Cornell Medicine have entire programs dedicated to preventive cardiology.
There are a number of reasons your internist or general practitioner might refer you to a cardiologist; even if you don’t show any outward symptoms of heart disease, preventive care can mean the difference between a heart attack or stroke, and a long, healthy life. You may be wondering how your physicians knows if you’re a candidate for this type of care, and there are a variety of factors they’ll consider. Here are reasons why you should take heart and seek out preventive care with your cardiologist.
Getting to the Heart of Cardiovascular Disease
At your visit, your physician will conduct an in-depth cardiovascular evaluation, lipid analysis, and advanced cardiac imaging to determine which preventive measures are best suited to you. Heart disease tends to have a strong genetic component. For this reason, your physician will ask you about your family health history – and whether there has been a pattern of high blood pressure or high cholesterol. High blood pressure is a precursor to both heart disease and stroke; so, diagnostics for this marker usually begin around the age of 20. Without normal blood pressure, oxygen and nutrients aren’t delivered through our arteries to vital organs and tissues.
No More Smoke and Mirrors
It’s time to look in the mirror and nip that smoking habit in the bud. Smoking tobacco of any kind is one of the most significant factors for developing heart disease. Chemical-laden tobacco products lower the flow of oxygen in the body, doing irreparable damage to your heart, arteries, and blood vessels. And even if you have curbed the habit, or quit altogether, it’s best to get a cardiovascular check-up.
Time to Get Moving
Are you looking to start a new exercise regimen? Perhaps, you’re hoping to run your first ever-10K. Physical activity helps you manage your weight, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as ward off diabetes. People over the age of forty looking to rev up their workout routines would certainly benefit from a trip to the cardiologist. Not only will your cardiologist check your vitals, he will ensure that any new activity is safe and suited to you.
Down with Diabetes
Diabetes and pre-diabetes can put you at greater risk for heart disease. A staggering statistic showed that in addition to the 20 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes, 8 million have yet to be diagnosed. Although endocrinologists specialize in treating diabetes, they often work in partnership with cardiologists to ensure there are no residual cardiac complications. Whether it’s suggesting a heart-healthy diet plan or starting statin therapy or an ACE inhibitor regimen, your cardiologist has many tools in their arsenal for cutting your risk of potential cardiac issues.
Early detection and prevention are key for reducing the prevalence of heart disease. It all starts with you. Ask your internist or general practitioner about preventive measures you can take at home, and heed their advice if they refer you to a cardiologist for additional testing. The staff at SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation makes it their business to foster lifelong relationships with their patients. With a wide range of offerings ranging from medical wellness visits to diagnostic services, their independent practice is your go-to for comprehensive and compassionate care. For more information on preventive cardiology, or to schedule an appointment, call their office at 803-749-1111.