Each year in the United States, cardiovascular diseases (including strokes and heart attacks) claim more lives than all cancers and lung problems combined — nearly 930,000 deaths — making them the leading causes of death in our country.
While these numbers are certainly alarming, Dr. Scott Lafferty and the team here at Lafferty Family Care look at them from another angle — prevention. At the heart of prevention is understanding and addressing your risks for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Here’s how we accomplish that.
Cardiac prevention assessment
At our practice, we offer a comprehensive cardiac prevention assessment program that reviews key areas of your health to determine whether your risks for heart attack and/or stroke are higher than they should be. These tests include:
Evaluating your metabolic markers
Measuring the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood is certainly a good step, but we go several steps further by studying advanced metabolic markers. This includes the size of the particles in your cholesterol, hormone levels (such as insulin), and vitamin and nutrient levels, including vitamin D. For a more advanced chart of what we evaluate, click here.
As with most other areas of your health, genetics can play a large role. To date, researchers have identified 23 genetic markers that might indicate a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Through our genetic testing, we search for the presence of these genetic markers.
Oral DNA markers
Did you know that periodontal (gum) disease can increase your risks for cardiovascular disease? We do, which is why we include oral DNA testing as part of your overall cardiac prevention assessment.
Blood vessel health
Rounding out our risk assessment is a test called a carotid intima media thickness ultrasound. This painless test checks for any stenosis (narrowing) in your all-important carotid artery, which supplies blood to your brain.
As you can see, we cover a lot of bases when it comes to assessing your risks for heart attacks and strokes.
While the testing that we conduct is comprehensive, we also spend some reviewing your lifestyle. The fact is that 90% of heart disease, worldwide, is preventable if people quit smoking, ate healthier foods, and exercised more.
We understand that addressing these lifestyle habits is challenging, but the improvements in your health are well worth the effort.
During your cardiac prevention assessment, we find areas where you can make improvements in your lifestyle, and we create a personalized prevention plan that targets your unique risks.
Addressing lifestyle habits that elevate your risk for heart attacks or strokes is important for everyone, but it might be especially important for you if we find risks in other areas, such as in your genes.
If you want to do what you can to prevent a heart attack or stroke, we urge you to contact our office in Bentonville, Arkansas, to schedule your cardiac prevention assessment today.