Preventive Cardiology

Cardiovascular disease is the #1 cause of death in the US, killing over 800,000 people every year.  Every 25 seconds someone has a heart attack and every single minute someone dies. If a person survives their first heart attack, the average annual out of pocket cost (after insurance) for stroke or heart attack patients is $25,000 - $30,000 and does not include loss of income due to loss of productivity. And, according to Kaiser that cost can rise another $100,000 when surgery is involved. 

Preventive cardiology is a branch of cardiology that focuses on preventing the development or progression of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and reducing the risk factors associated with these conditions. The goal of preventive cardiology is to identify and manage risk factors before they lead to heart disease, heart attacks, or other cardiovascular events. 

Preventive cardiology plays a crucial role in public health by addressing modifiable risk factors and promoting heart-healthy behaviors, ultimately reducing the burden of cardiovascular diseases on individuals and healthcare systems.

Key components of preventive cardiology include:

  • Risk Factor Assessment: Healthcare professionals assess an individual's risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Common risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes, smoking, obesity, lack of physical activity, and a family history of heart disease.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Encouraging and helping individuals adopt heart-healthy lifestyle changes is a crucial aspect of preventive cardiology. This includes promoting a balanced diet, regular physical activity, smoking cessation, and stress management.
  • Medical Management: Depending on an individual's risk factors and overall health, medications may be prescribed to control conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
  • Screening and Early Detection: Regular screenings and diagnostic tests may be recommended to detect cardiovascular problems at an early stage, allowing for timely intervention and prevention of complications.
  • Patient Education: Empowering individuals with knowledge about heart health, risk factors, and preventive measures is a fundamental part of preventive cardiology. Educated individuals are more likely to make informed decisions about their lifestyle and health.
  • Long-Term Follow-Up: Preventive cardiology involves ongoing monitoring and follow-up to ensure that individuals are maintaining healthy habits and to make adjustments to the preventive plan as needed.

    With the latest advances in testing, thorough screening and comprehensive treatment, most of these cardiac events and deaths are preventable. Preventive cardiology as offered by Dr. Retzler focuses on a strategy to prevent you from not only going broke but being a cardiovascular death statistic.

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