According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease being the leading cause of mortality among men and women results in the death of one in every four people in the US every year. Over the years, medical practitioners have developed advanced procedures and robust support systems for treating patients with a severely compromised heart.
However, the need for basic prevention strategies still prevails. As more and more people become aware of the risk factors and complications associated with heart diseases, the demand for preventive cardiology specialists increases.
This article will go through a comprehensive overview of preventive cardiology and learn its advantages and applications in treating patients with heart disease.
What is Preventive Cardiology?
In simple words, preventive cardiology is a field of medicine that focuses on improving lipid profiles, controlling diabetes, and introducing lifestyle modifications to prevent heart disease incidence and progression. Preventive cardiologists aim to reduce the risk of developing severe heart issues by providing individualized healing plans.
This preventive strategy’s primary goal is to eliminate the risk factors that lead to complexities, such as heart attacks and strokes. It is a relatively new field that offers customized recovery plans based on the patient’s condition and medical history.
Medical experts plan to lessen the percentage of CVD patients and increase their life expectancy through preventive cardiology. The treatment starts with the appearance of early symptoms of a cardiovascular complication.
How Can Preventive Cardiology Help Me?
Preventive cardiology lowers the risk of life-threatening diseases. In contrast to aggressive medical therapies, it helps patients manage the symptoms at an early stage of the disease.
Preventive cardiology clinics use high-end cardiac imaging tools to assess and evaluate the severity of your condition. They offer research-based care along with suitable medication to fix the possible underlying causes before they get hard-wired in your bodily systems.
This process involves:
- Personalized cholesterol management plans
- Healthy eating habits
- Supervised exercise sessions
- Smoking cessation
- Regular counseling
- Cardiac rehabilitation programs to address every patient’s distinct risk factors
If you have had a stroke or are suffering from heart disease currently, preventive cardiology helps to accelerate healing and avoid further illness.
Which Conditions Can Be Treated?
Sticking to preventive cardiology care can help treat a wide range of conditions. Here is a shortlist of the disorders that you can help avoid or ease the progression of through preventive cardiology.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease, typically caused by atherosclerosis, is the blocking or narrowing of the coronary arteries. Atherosclerosis, a plaque build up in the arteries, is sneaky and progresses silently, but that doesn’t mean it won’t produce warning signs as the disease advances. One of those signs is if the plaque is located in one of the coronary arteries that feed your heart, physical activity can cause chest pain, and that pain is relieved by rest. The heart requires a continuous blood supply to function properly. Plaque can restrict blood flow, and the heart becomes depleted of oxygen and the necessary nutrients it needs to function properly – which can cause chest pain. If blood flow to the heart is cut off entirely, a heart attack can occur.
Obesity significantly increases the risk of falling prey to heart disease. It poses serious threats to your well-being and needs ongoing preventive care. Obesity is associated with medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, insulin resistance, and sleep apnea syndrome, contributing to additional cardiovascular risk factors. Obesity can contribute to structural and functional changes in the heart; the myocardium’s changed composition raises the risk of atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death.
Having enough cholesterol to meet your needs is essential, but having too much can cause problems. Elevated cholesterol levels lead to the clogging of arteries that supply the heart muscles and is a cardiovascular disease risk factor.
Familial hypercholesterolemia is the impairment of the way the body processes cholesterol. As a result, there is a higher risk of heart disease and a higher risk of an early heart attack in people with familial hypercholesterolemia. A person inherits the gene that causes hereditary hypercholesterolemia, and the condition is present from birth.
Sometimes cholesterol levels are elevated due to low thyroid levels in the body. To generate cholesterol and eliminate the cholesterol it does not need, your body needs thyroid hormones. Your body doesn’t break down and extract LDL cholesterol easily when thyroid hormone levels are low, as is the case with hypothyroidism, and LDL cholesterol will then build up in the blood. Treating a thyroid disorder will often correct elevated cholesterol levels if there is a thyroid disorder in need of treatment, such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, subclinical hypothyroidism, or hypothyroidism. If you have elevated cholesterol, it’s good practice to ask for a thyroid lab panel as you could treat the root of the cholesterol problem if you have low or mildly low thyroid hormone.
Heart failure and strokes can also occur due to high blood pressure levels in the body. There are two types of high blood pressure – primary and secondary. Primary hypertension is elevated blood pressure with no identifiable cause, and an underlying health condition causes secondary hypertension. Various medications and conditions can lead to secondary hypertension, including birth control pills, decongestants, thyroid disorders, kidney problems, adrenal gland tumors, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Chronic hypertension is directly linked to cardiovascular disease and needs to be addressed and treated. A blood pressure reading of 120/80 mmHg decreases the risk of stroke and heart attack, but a hypertensive blood pressure reading of 130/80 mmHg sharply increases your risk.
What is Involved in Preventive Cardiology?
Many preventive cardiology approaches include lifestyle modification, smoking cessation, nutritional counseling, lipid management, diabetes management, blood pressure control, prescription therapy, cardiovascular imaging, sleep apnea management, stress management, inflammatory conditions treatment, and genetic testing.
Prevention is Key
Prevention is always better than a cure, and preventive cardiology is a fantastic approach to reducing the risk of severe complications through lifestyle changes and healthy nutrition. Heart-healthy programs do work and improve the quality of your life. Preventive cardiology is about identifying patients at high risk for a cardiac event and working together to reduce those risks.