Preventive cardiology is a medical discipline that revolves around maintaining cardiovascular health and averting the onset or recurrence of disease. This type of care is recommended for patients with a personal or family history of heart disease, very high cholesterol levels, severe hypertension or metabolic syndrome. The goal of preventive cardiology is to lower the patient's risk of developing or worsening a cardiac condition through a combination of education about lifestyle changes and medical management and monitoring. After an examination, testing and assessment, each patient is provided with a personalized treatment plan designed to prevent or rehabilitate cardiac problems.
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. Despite its high death rate, heart disease usually occurs when certain risk factors, controllable by the patient, are present. While a family history of heart disease and increasing age cannot be controlled, there are several lifestyle changes patients can make to help reduce their risk of heart disease and improve their health as well. Patients most likely to develop heart disease have the following risk factors: high blood pressure, a close relative with heart disease, high LDL cholesterol level, high triglycerides, diabetes, smoking, kidney disease, overweight and having no regular exercise program.
It is important for patients to undergo medical evaluation prior to cardiovascular surgery in order to assess and address potential risk factors. Such assessments are becoming more common for several reasons: the population is aging; older patients are becoming more likely to undergo cardiovascular surgery; and patients of advanced age are more likely to have pre-existing medical conditions. Risks for perioperative morbidity and mortality include cardiac, respiratory, and infectious complications.
Preoperative cardiac assessments are designed to pinpoint issues that should be treated or controlled prior to surgery; they include pulmonary deficits, poor nutrition, diabetes, hypertension, coronary or peripheral artery disease and aortic stenosis.
There are many types of, and reasons for, chest pain. Chest pain may be sharp, stabbing, dull, aching, burning or crushing. At times, chest pain radiates up into the neck, or jaw, or down the arms. While chest pain may be the result of many injuries or disease conditions, the most life-threatening condition chest pain involve the lungs or the heart. Any chest pain should be medically evaluated, since some chest pain requires urgent medical, or even surgical, intervention. While chest pain may not indicate a serious medical disorder, and is a common symptom of panic attacks, which although acutely uncomfortable are not dangerous, it is always best to be cautious and have any chest pain medically evaluated.
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