The Preventive Cardiology Clinic is part of the comprehensive array of cardiac care offered at UWHC. Our physicians, who specialize in cholesterol disorders and other preventive cardiology care, will work closely with patients and their primary care physicians to develop an individualized treatment program.
Nutritionists also will help patients and their families improve eating habits, and our team of nurses and exercise physiologists will strive to reduce any other cardiac risk factors by helping patients learn ways to modify their lifestyle.
Based on the patient's health condition, the initial clinic evaluation may include:
- Health risk assessment: By filling out a questionnaire, the patient can help staff identify his or her heart disease risks. The form asks about family history, past health conditions, eating habits and other factors.
- Physical examination: Patients may have an evaluation to determine their cardiovascular health and identify existing heart disease. In this examination, staff will test patients' blood pressure and listen to their heart and lungs.
- Blood cholesterol test: Laboratory staff will draw the patient's blood to measure cholesterol levels and other blood tests to determine risk. Our team discusses test results with patients during their consultations.
- Dietary evaluation: Our staff dietitian reviews current eating habits and makes recommendations for dietary changes.
- Lifestyle counseling: Our nurses and clinical exercise physiologists provide education and counseling if the patient has risk factors that require special attention. They may help patients quit smoking; recommend an exercise program and monitor progress; or refer patients to our stress management counselor.
The Preventive Cardiology Clinic's goal is to help patients and their families understand their risk and how they can improve heart health.
Because patients may be at risk for heart disease without even knowing it, the following questions are posed to determine whether a person could benefit from participation in the Preventive Cardiology Clinic.
- Has any member of your family developed heart disease at an early age? Studies show that heart disease and cholesterol abnormalities run in families. If you have a relative under age 60 who has had a heart attack, heart surgery or stroke, we urge you to have your risk factors evaluated and controlled.
- Have you had a heart attack, heart surgery or other heart procedure? Numerous studies indicate that aggressive risk factor treatment decreases the risk for another heart attack and lowers the risk of dying from a heart-related event. With this in mind, cholesterol clinic staff will evaluate all cardiac risk factors and discuss possible intervention and treatment plans. These may include smoking cessation, an exercise program and cholesterol management.
- Do you have a cholesterol level above 200 mg, an LDL level higher than 130 mg and/or an HDL cholesterol level less than 35 mg? When we test your cholesterol level, we determine the amount of good (HDL, or high-density lipoprotein) and bad (LDL, or low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol and/or a low HDL level, you are at increased risk for heart disease. Our staff will help you lower your cholesterol by showing you how to modify your diet; in some cases, they also may prescribe medication.