The Many Benefits of Preventive Cardiology
Evelyn J. Cusack, MD
I believe all cardiologists today practice preventive cardiology. When it comes to heart disease, the saying holds true: prevention is the best medicine. Even if heart disease is in your genes, living a healthy lifestyle is critical to preventing heart problems.
What is preventive cardiology?
Preventive cardiology is all about identifying patients who are at high-risk for a cardiac event like a heart attack and then working collaboratively with them to prevent said event or onset of heart disease. With this in mind, we look at specific risk factors and try to recommend strategies for health and lifestyle changes to minimize future risk. Our approach to preventive cardiology includes:
- Primary prevention: for those who are more prone to cardiovascular events
- Secondary prevention: more of an ongoing maintenance check for those with known heart problems in order to prevent additional events
- Comprehensive cardiac evaluation, testing and risk stratification, including individualized programs tailored toward patients’ needs.
Preventive cardiology is also a complete team approach. Clinicians, physical therapists, trainers nutritionists and therapists all work together to educate patients about lifestyle changes that dramatically impact cardiac risk reduction. The cardiologist play a key role in managing the patients medically. We always let patients know they can benefit from nutrition and exercise, stress management and integrative medicine classes that focus on their unique needs. When necessary, medicine can also be part of the treatment plan.
At Stamford Health, we offer all of the above. However, cardiologists work closely with your primary care physicians, as well as staff and providers in cardiac rehabilitation and the Center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness so that you can have a holistic approach to your care.
What is most gratifying for me as a physician is having a patient realize for themselves the dramatic impact lifestyle changes have on their life. They can come off their medication, have greater mobility and feel more in control of their health. That makes me feel as though I’ve really made a difference.