When Should You Consider Preventive Cardiology?

In the Upper East Side, New York, cardiovascular problems are rising. It makes preventive cardiology much more relevant. This branch of medicine aims to prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases by addressing risk factors for those conditions. It promotes healthy lifestyles and controls cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes mellitus. Target the best centers for preventive cardiology in Upper East Side, NY. Here are indicators that you need to consider preventive cardiology.

Family History of Heart Attacks, Stroke, or Peripheral Artery Disease

According to the American Heart Association, if a parent or sibling has/had the cardiovascular disease before 55 years of age, you have a higher chance of developing heart disease. Your risk is even greater if more than one relative has had an early onset of cardiovascular disease. In addition, genetic factors play a significant role in chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease, heart failure, and peripheral artery disease. This is where genetic testing can make a difference in whether you consider preventive cardiology.

Familial Hypercholesterolemia(FH)

If you have a family history of heart disease and high cholesterol, mainly if your parent(s) or sibling(s) were diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), then it is recommended that you undergo genetic testing for FH. If you are identified as having the FH mutation and thus at risk for heart disease, you should be evaluated by a preventive cardiologist.

High Blood Pressure

If you have a family history of high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, your doctor may recommend that you undergo genetic testing for the E23K mutation. If this mutation is found, then your doctor may recommend that you be initiated on an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) medication early in life to reduce the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

The difference between preventive cardiology and other medical specialties is that the preventive cardiologist has expert cardiovascular medicine and genetics knowledge. It allows your doctor to provide you with a more comprehensive evaluation of your cardiovascular risk factors (genetic and environmental) and develop a personalized preventive cardiology plan that may include Lifestyle Intervention, Pharmacologic Therapy, or even Surgery.

High Cholesterol

If you have high cholesterol, lifestyle changes are usually the first course of treatment. However, if your LDL-C levels are very high or you cannot control your cholesterol through diet and exercise alone, medications may be indicated. 

If your triglyceride levels are also elevated, then your doctor may suggest that you undergo genetic testing for Familial Combined Hyperlipidemia (FCH). If a genetic mutation is found that increases your risk for hypertriglyceridemia, then your doctor may recommend a medication called fibrates.

If you Have Prediabetes or Diabetes Mellitus

When you have prediabetes or diabetes mellitus, lifestyle changes may lower your elevated blood glucose levels enough that medication isn’t needed. However, in some cases, if you do not see improvements in your HbA1C and blood glucose levels, then your doctor may recommend that you undergo genetic testing for MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young). 

A genetic mutation can cause MODY. In this case, your doctor may recommend that you use several drugs called sulfonylurea medications early in life to lower blood glucose levels and reduce your risk for diabetic complications.

If you have a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, then it is essential to consider preventive cardiology. Genetic testing can help identify which diseases you are at risk for, and your doctor can develop a personalized plan to reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular complications.