How Can You Prioritize Your Heart Health?

Heart Health

According to the World Heart Federation, cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes 18.6 million deaths per year and is considered the world’s number one killer. As the coronavirus pandemic has made many of us more aware of our health, and the health of our loved ones, it’s more important than ever before to prioritize your heart health and talk to your doctor about potential CVD.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women,” Jacob DeLaRosa, MD, Portneuf Medical Group cardiothoracic surgeon said. “Because of its deadly nature, it is very important to learn about heart attack warning signs, know your risks for heart disease, be proactive about your healthcare and continue to make healthy lifestyle choices.”

Reduce Your Risk

The best way to prevent death due to CVD is by working to reduce your risk of disease and screening for irregularities to catch heart disease early.

Identified risk factors of CVD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, physical inactivity and tobacco use. You can help to prevent CVD by adopting lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco use and exercising regularly.

There are many non-invasive screening tests your doctor can suggest to find out whether you have, or are at risk for developing, CVD. One of the most useful tests to screen for CVD and other heart conditions is a high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scan. The goal of this method, also known as coronary calcium scoring, is to determine if CAD is present and to what extent. This scan offers a precise image of the heart and the coronary arteries and it’s the most sensitive approach to detecting coronary calcification caused by atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in arteries).

We’re Here to Help

The cardiologists, cardiac and vascular surgeons at Portneuf Heart & Vascular Institute are here to help you understand your heart health and risk of heart disease. As an American College of Cardiology accredited Chest Pain Center and U.S. News & World Report 2021-22 High Performing Hospital – Heart Attack, the staff at Portneuf are committed to and experienced at diagnosing and treating patients with many different cardiovascular conditions.

“No matter your age or associated risks, if you are looking to improve your health, don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight and make your heart health a priority,” Dr. DeLaRosa said. “In fact, 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. With an ongoing personalized focus on education, treatment and advanced cardiovascular therapies, our local cardiologists are helping patients with cardiovascular complications and improving their quality of life.”

If you have cardiac risk factors or have experienced heart-related symptoms, talk to your physician to see if a visit with the specialists at Portneuf Heart and Vascular Institute may be appropriate for you. Learn more about Portneuf Heart & Vascular Institute and check your heart risk by answering three simple questions. To schedule an appointment, call 208-239-3899.