What You Don’t Know About Preventive Cardiology

Heart disease is the number one global cause of death and also a major disease burden. Some of the risk factors such as obesity and diabetes are predicted to reach epidemic levels in the coming decade. Preventive Cardiology can play a big role in curbing these trends and everyone should understand the facts involved in Cardiology.

There are 2 levels of prevention – Primary and Secondary. Nearly, most of the people are looking for treatment for heart failure.

 

Primary Prevention

Who is it for?

This is targeted at the general population who do not have established heart disease yet.

What does it include?

Primary prevention begins with establishing the risk profile of an individual through a systematic health check. This typically includes checks for hypertension, obesity, diabetes and cholesterol. This kind of assessment is recommended for all individuals above 40 years old; even earlier if there is some other indicator e.g. family history of heart disease

In fact, for hypertension and obesity, regular checking has been recommended for anyone above 18 years old. Based on the results of the health check, each individual can be stratified into low, intermediate or high global risk for cardiovascular disease. 

In particular, intermediate and high risk individuals may have silent disease that will benefit from early detection and treatment for heart failure. Based on each person’s risk level, the best heart specialist hospital in Coimbatore can also determine the specific target for treatment, for example the target level of cholesterol. In general, higher risk individuals will need more aggressive control of their risk factors.

 

Secondary Prevention

Who is it for?

Individuals who already have evidence of heart disease, stroke or peripheral vascular disease.

What does it include?

Secondary prevention refers to intensive therapy to prevent recurrence of disease, prolong life and improve quality of life. Good secondary prevention also means patients are less likely to undergo procedures to open their heart arteries in the long run. 

Secondary prevention is mainly done through intensive control of risk factors, more stringently than in primary prevention. This includes lifestyle modification, mainly regular exercise, heart healthy diet, smoking cessation and stress management. 

For specific cases, such as after discharge from hospital for heart attack or heart failure, a structured cardiac rehabilitation program is highly beneficial.

 

How does Preventive Cardiology help?

There is medical evidence that adopting the principles of preventive cardiology saves lives and reduces heart attacks and strokes. If a person has no risk factor at all or controls the risk factors very well, they are likely to stay active longer and have a better quality of life, in both physical and mental wellbeing, in their old age.

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