Who should participate in a Preventive Cardiology Program?
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. If you want to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, or more importantly, if you have risk factors or have already been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, this program is for you. Even if you already have cardiovascular disease, you can slow its progression by managing your risk factors.
What types of patients are seen in the Preventive Cardiology Clinic?
Patients in the Preventive Cardiology Clinic can be categorized as receiving primary or secondary prevention.
- Primary prevention is aimed at the prevention of heart and blood vessel disease before an event such as a heart attack or stroke, or the need for cardiovascular surgery occurs.
- Secondary prevention targets individuals after they have experienced an event such as heart or vascular surgery, angioplasty or heart attack, to prevent further progression of cardiovascular disease.
Who is the clinical team?
The Preventive Cardiology Program brings together the multi-specialty expertise of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other health care professionals from several departments, including:
- The Tomsich Family Department of Cardiovascular Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Exercise Physiology
- Nutrition Therapy
In bringing these diverse areas together under one program, patients benefit from this comprehensive, multi-specialty expertise and application of the most current, research-based preventive therapies.
How do I enter the program?
Your doctor can arrange for you to be seen in the Preventive Cardiology Program or you may contact us directly to schedule an appointment at 215.444.9353 or toll free 800.223.2273, ext. 49353. Once your appointment is made, you will receive information and instructions to prepare you for your first visit.
What role does my primary physician have?
The Preventive Cardiology specialists will work closely with you and your family physician or cardiologist to design a program which fits with your overall health profile. They will track your progress and report this information to you and your doctor with each visit.
What are the program goals?
The team works with each patient individually, using research-based interventions and a variety of treatment methods to decrease risk factors for cardiovascular disease progression and improve quality of life. Your goals will be individualized to your needs and lifestyle.
Patients begin with a complete risk assessment and lab work including biochemical and genetic markers, followed by a long term plan for reducing risk. Nutritional counseling, exercise instruction, advice about lifestyle and behaviors, smoking cessation, medical management of risk factors, psychological counseling and referral to physicians or other health professionals as needed may all be a part of this plan.
What happens during my first visit?
You will receive a thorough risk factor assessment including family history of cardiovascular diseases, assessment of lifestyle health behaviors, review of your cardiovascular and other medical history, lab work including diabetes and cholesterol screening and a focused cardiovascular physical. We also screen for new and emerging risk factors for heart disease, such as homocysteine, fibrinogen, lipoprotein(a) and C-reactive protein. Review common risk factors for heart disease.
What happens next?
The data obtained from your comprehensive evaluation is reviewed by members of our multidisciplinary team, and an individualized treatment plan is created that includes specific goals to be followed over time. Your information is entered into a computerized database, and you will be provided with a sheet to track your information. This database will make it easy for you and your healthcare providers to follow your progress, comparing trends over time. The database also allows for analyses of outcomes to help us evaluate how well we are meeting the goals of our patients. A copy of these records can automatically be sent to your referring physician and any other physicians you would like to be kept informed of your care.
How often will I have follow-up appointments?
Most patients have a follow-up appointment every 3 months, but they may be more or less frequent depending on their individual needs and plan of care. Regular follow-up visits are important to ensure progress toward goal achievement. If you have questions in between visits, you may contact your Preventive Cardiology team.
What makes Cleveland Clinic’s Preventive Cardiology Program unique?
The program has been designed to provide:
- Individualized treatment plans
- Cutting-edge risk evaluation, including the latest new and emerging risk factors
- Computerized data collection and outcome analyses
- Multidisciplinary treatment strategies
- Nutritional counseling based on individual lab test results and patient needs, and may include electronic evaluations of daily food intake
- Behavioral analysis
- Group and individual educational programs