More than 800,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This number of men and women annually affected by heart attacks underscores the importance for cardiac risk assessment and prevention. After all, an assessment can reveal your risk level for a heart attack or related problems so that preventive steps can be taken. Here at Grand Rapids Cardiology, in Grand Rapids, MI, Dr. Ronald VanderLaan can discuss cardiac risk assessment and prevention with you.
Heart screenings are an effective method for assessing your risk for developing various heart-related problems, including:
- Heart Attack
If tests reveal any areas of concern, the cardiologist can make recommendations for improving heart health and reducing your risk for cardiovascular problems. At our cardiology office in Grand Rapids, some of the tests that can be performed during a heart screening include an electrocardiogram (ECG) and an echocardiogram. An ECG makes it possible to monitor heart rhythm and blood flow to the heart, while an echocardiogram utilizes ultrasound technology to examine the heart. A physical exam is also performed to check things like blood pressure.
Maintaining good health and caring for your heart are essential to preventing cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack. If a heart screening indicates you have a moderate to high risk of developing a heart condition, our cardiologist can help you develop a plan to improve your health and prevent cardiovascular problems. Factors that can increase the risk for heart problems include being overweight, not maintaining a healthy diet, lack of physical activity, consuming alcohol excessively, and having diabetes.
There are several steps you can take immediately to begin improving the health of your heart, as well as overall health. Implementing these steps can also dramatically reduce your risk of heart attack. Steps to better cardiac care include:
- Eating a nutritious and balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
- Lowering blood cholesterol by reducing the consumption of foods with trans and saturated fats
- Lowering blood pressure by reducing salt intake
- Engaging in moderate exercise for 30 minutes every day
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Avoiding or stopping smoking
- Reducing stress
Concerned? Give Us a Call
Undergoing heart screening to assess your risk for developing cardiovascular disease or other related conditions is an important step toward preventing heart attack and other problems. To learn more about cardiac risk assessment and prevention, schedule an appointment with Dr. VanderLaan by contacting Grand Rapids Cardiology at (616) 717-5141.