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Our cardiologists focus both on treating and preventing heart disease. Heart disease prevention is an important part of our practice. Our team works with patients to develop a personalized cardiac care plan that includes a close look at family history of heart disease, preventative heart screenings, lifestyle modifications and education. 

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Working together, there are many steps people can take to prevent heart disease. The first is to begin this important conversation – schedule an appointment with one of our cardiology specialists by calling 410-427-2580.

Top 10 Tips for Heart Disease Prevention

  1. Eat well. Following a heart-healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, sodium and processed foods, and high in plant-based food, lean meat, whole grains and healthy fats (olive oil) is a vital part of maintaining good health for the long-term.
  2. Get moving. Studies have shown that regular exercise can lower the risk for heart disease. You don’t have to run marathons; walking 30 minutes a day is a great way to get the heart pumping and keep the body moving.   
  3. Quit smoking. Cigarette smoking is a leading contributor to heart disease, as well as a host of other health problems. Cigarette smoke and tobacco can damage delicate blood vessels and reduce the oxygen in the blood, causing the heart to work overtime. Ask us about programs designed to help you quit. 
  4. Get screened. Especially if you have a family history of heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart failure, etc.) talk to your doctor about preventative screenings. We offer a screening test called a coronary calcium score. This is a non-invasive CT scan of the heart that measures the amount of calcium plaque in the coronary arteries. This important screening test calculates your risk for developing coronary artery disease – the lower your calcium score, the lower your risk for a heart attack, and vice versa. 
  5. Know your risk. UM St. Joseph offers a unique heart disease detection program called HeartAware. This tool helps you identify risk factors for developing heart disease and steps to take to lower your risk. After taking this assessment, you receive a personalized report. Take the assessment now.  
  6. Maintain a healthy weight. As you age, it can be more challenging to keep excess weight off. Obesity is a leading cause of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all factors that lead to coronary artery disease. Eating a healthy diet and getting physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight.
  7. Get your Zzzz’s. Adequate sleep is important (at least eight hours per night). But, did you know that sleep disorders such as sleep apnea actually contribute to the development of high blood pressure and heart disease? Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that causes you to stop breathing for several seconds as you sleep. Talk to your physician if you snore or experience even mild sleep apnea. 
  8. See your doctor regularly. Annual physicals are an important part of keeping your heart healthy. Regular screenings such as blood pressure checks, cholesterol screening and blood sugar tests to check for diabetes are important at every age, but especially in your 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond. Controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both major risk factors for heart disease, should be a priority. 
  9. Manage stress. Too much stress for a prolonged period can raise cortisol levels in your bloodstream which can harm your heart.
  10. Make your heart health a priority. If you need care, don’t delay seeking treatment. Make an appointment with one of the experienced cardiologists. Your heart will thank you.

Contact Us

Call for an appointment today: 410-427-2580.