House Call: Heart Disease – Reducing your Risk
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing about 600,000 Americans each year.
There are many measures that can be taken to actually prevent heart disease; however, many people are unaware of them.
One major, yet underestimated, preventative method is exercise. Exercise has been shown to lower the level of stress hormones in the body, which are associated with heart disease.
Also, certain sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, have been directly linked to heart disease. Unfortunately, sleep apnea often goes unrecognized and untreated in individuals who suffer from it until it causes more serious issues, such as heart disease. Therefore, in order to prevent these life-threatening health conditions, it is important to identify and treat individuals who suffer from sleep apnea and other forms of sleep disorders.
Cholesterol management is also key in preventing heart disease. Cardiologists are now administering tests known as advanced lipid profiles on patients who have a family history or other risk factors of heart disease. These tests not only measure normal cholesterol levels, but they also measure the number and size of the cholesterol particles in the blood. This gives cardiologists a better understanding of a patient’s level of risk for developing heart disease, and helps them develop a proper preventative treatment plan.
The exceptional team of cardiologists and related healthcare professionals within the Cone Health network are dedicated to educating the community about heart disease and providing guidance and treatment geared toward prevention.
Dr. Chad Hilty is a cardiologist at Southeastern Heart & Vascular Center and a member of the Cone Health medical staff. Dr. Hilty is a 2005 graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Rochester, and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the Medical University of South Carolina.
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