Patient Education

New Patient Paperwork

DO YOU KNOW YOUR RISK OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE?

Do you know your risk of cardiovascular disease?

The best way to fight heart disease is to be aware of your risk factors and receive preventative screenings. Especially if you have a family history of heart disease, you may want to consult with a cardiologist to determine your risk.

SODIUM IS A NECESSARY PART OF YOUR DIET.

Sodium is a necessary part of your diet.

It is needed to keep fluids balanced in your body and to aid your nerves and muscles. However, sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, swelling, and over retention of water that can lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney disease.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR TESTING:

How to prepare for testing:

Basic cardiac tests require little preparation. It is recommended that you wear comfortable, two-piece clothing, and bring or wear walking shoes. You will be asked to change into a gown for most tests.

WHAT IS CHOLESTEROL?

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that your body needs to function properly. Your body produces all of the cholesterol it needs. When your diet contains large amounts of saturated fat, your blood cholesterol level is raised. Too much cholesterol can build up in the walls of your arteries, restricting blood flow.

RISK FACTORS OF HEART DISEASE

Family history of cardiovascular disease greatly increases your risk, especially if a parent or close relative was diagnosed at an early age. If a close male relative was diagnosed before the age of 55, or if a close female relative was diagnosed before the age of 65, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease is greater.

Those who smoke have a 2-4 times higher chance of having heart disease. Smoking increases heart rate, blood pressure, and the narrowing of the arteries. Quitting smoking for one year reduces your risk of coronary heart disease to half that of a smoker’s.

Hypertension, blood pressure over 140/90 or higher, causes damage to the artery walls and increases the chance of blood clots. About 90 percent of Americans will develop hypertension in their lifetime.

Blood cholesterol levels should be below 200mg/dL. Excess cholesterol can build up in the walls of arteries over time and lead to clogged arteries.

If you have diabetes, you are at least twice as likely to have heart disease or experience a stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in those who have diabetes.

A diet that lacks proper nutrition or contains excess fat and sodium can contribute to the development of heart disease.

Inactivity can cause many conditions related to heart disease, such as increased cholesterol and blood pressure. More than half of Americans do not get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

More than two-thirds of our American adult population is overweight. Being overweight causes the heart muscle to work harder and is typically linked to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Proper diet and exercise can control obesity and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Unrelieved stress in your life may damage your arteries as well as worsen other risk factors for heart disease.

Failure to establish healthy habits, such as washing your hands regularly, can contribute to your risk of developing viral or bacterial infections. This can increase your risk for heart infections, especially if you already have an underlying heart condition. Poor dental health may also contribute to heart disease.

WHY IS SODIUM RELATED TO CARDIOVASCULAR RISK?

Sometimes, your kidneys may not be able to eliminate excess sodium from your body, so the sodium accumulates and retains water in your blood. As your blood volume increases, your heart works harder and your blood pressure rises. This is how excess sodium in your body can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and congestive heart failure.

AHA recommends no more than

1500mg

of sodium per day.

HERE ARE SOME WAYS TO CUT BACK ON YOUR SALT INTAKE:

  • Eat more fresh foods.

  • Avoid convenience foods.

  • Opt for low-sodium products when available.

  • Remove salt from recipes whenever possible.

  • Limit your use of condiments.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR TESTING

WHAT IS CHOLESTEROL? WHAT DOES HDL & LDL MEAN?

The term HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) refers to the GOOD cholesterol that carries cholesterol to the liver for elimination and prevents the build up of cholesterol in the arteries. The term LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) refers to the BAD cholesterol. The body uses only a certain amount of LDL and the rest circulates in the bloodstream and builds up in the walls of the arteries. It is important for you to get not only a general cholesterol screening, but one that gives you a breakdown of your HDL and LDL levels.

HYPERTENSION

SOME OF THE FACTORS THAT INCREASE YOUR RISK ARE:

  • LIFESTYLE. Smoking, a diet high in salt and fat, high alcohol consumption, stress, a lack of exercise

  • BACKGROUND. Age 60 or older, a family history of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, or African American descent

  • MEDICAL HISTORY. Being overweight, a cholesterol level of over 200, a history of diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, arterial disease of the legs, a previous stroke, or longer than a year since your last blood pressure check

PACEMAKERS