UT Southwestern research leads to new thinking
about your risk for heart disease.
New Thinking, Every Day
UT Southwestern cardiology experts are discovering
new ways to think about heart health:
Family • Food • Fitness
Family tree risk awareness
If your second cousin has heart disease, it should raise awareness. If your dad does, it should raise concern. Heart disease in a first-degree relative–mom or dad, brother or sister, son or daughter–puts you at a higher risk.
Do you know your family's history of heart disease?
Did you know
UT Southwestern researchers found that women with a family history of heart disease are less likely than men to change unhealthy habits, like smoking, eating fattening foods, and not exercising.
Although the prevalence of cardiovascular disease is generally low for young women, the consequences can be more severe. For instance, women are twice as likely as men to have fatal heart attacks.
– Amit Khera, MD, Director, Program in Preventive Cardiology, UT Southwestern Medical Center
xDownload the Dallas Heart Study, a groundbreaking cardiovascular study of risk factor identification and treatment.
Some food is good for your heart, other food is not
The synergistic effect of a heart healthy diet can have a significant impact on the progression and treatment of heart disease.
Want to know the details? Here is a heart healthy diet cheat sheet.
Did you know
The mirror may be more important than the scale in determining your risk for heart disease
UT Southwestern cardiologists found that your waist–to–hip ratio may be a more accurate way—as compared to weight–to–height alone—to assess your heart disease risk.
Fat that accumulates around your waist seems to be more biologically active as it secretes inflammatory proteins that contribute to atherosclerotic plaque buildup, whereas fat around your hips doesn't appear to increase risk for cardiovascular disease at all.
– James de Lemos, MD, Medical Director, Dallas Heart Study, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Body mass index
(BMI), A weight–to–
Your waist should not be larger than your hips. Your waist shouldn't be too big to begin with. How big is too big? The consensus threshold for waist measurement–at or just above your bellybutton–for women is 35 inches; for men it's 40 inches. Anything greater and you could be at a higher risk for developing heart disease.
Want a target? Aim to have the waist you had at your high school graduation.
No symptoms, no worries.
About half of the population has a high lifetime risk of heart disease; they just don't
know it yet. You may be fine for the next 5 to 10 years. What about the next 20?
Higher fitness level, lower lifetime risk
Jarett Berry, MD, a cardiologist and researcher at UT Southwestern, and his
colleagues have found that the higher your fitness level in your midlife, the lower the
risk of cardiac death in your lifetime.
We're trying to build the best crystal ball.
– Jarett Berry, MD, Assistant Professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center
xFind out how a simple fitness test could predict long-term risk for heart attack and stroke in middle-aged people.
Fitness and Risk
A simple fitness test can help to predict your risk of cardiovascular disease mortality decades later. Calculate your lifetime risk of heart disease at Lifetimerisk.org
Your path to a higher Heart I.Q. is complete!
Your journey to a healthier heart has just begun
If you or a loved one are at risk for heart disease make an appointment with a UT Southwestern cardiologist. 214-645-8300
Have a Question Now? Email UT Southwestern
Whose Heart Matters To You? Connect to Facebook and invite a friend or loved one to increase their Heart I.Q. Connect to Facebook
Your score: 0
Our physicians work together to tackle the toughest cases.
UT Southwestern’s Program in Preventive Cardiology provides specialized patient care using clinical expertise combined with knowledge of the latest research advances. We work with patients to assess their risk of developing cardiovascular disease based on traditional risk factors, hereditary factors and other conditions that may affect their future health. For those who have already suffered from a heart attack or stroke, or those at risk for these diseases, a team of doctors, nurses and nutritionists tailor a medical plan to aggressively reduce risk factors and to prevent heart disease and its complications in each individual.
Within the Preventative Cardiology program, we provide the following services:
For those patients without known heart disease, the program uses both standard methods as well as the latest tools to help determine more accurately a patient’s risk of heart attack and stroke. We have expertise in complex cases such as patients with a strong family history of heart disease, young patients and those with unconventional risk factors. Our approach to determining an individual patient’s risk can include:
Our team of doctors, nurses, a nutritionist and a nurse practitioner work together to prepare an individualized medical plan to treat each patient’s risk factors for heart disease. We work closely with our patients, providing extensive counseling and follow up to achieve healthy lifestyle goals. Medications can also prescribed as necessary to help treat these heart disease risk factors.
All patients with cholesterol problems evaluated by our physicians are also seen by our nutritionist for dietary interventions and followed closely by our nurse practitioner. Our lipid management program includes:
Advanced cardiac imaging tests such as coronary artery calcium scanning and CT angiography (heart scans) are available for the appropriate patients.
A registered dietician with expertise in all aspects of preventive heart health including cholesterol problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, is a key member of the team and available for consultation. Our nutrition services include:
Phase II cardiac rehabilitation is a 12-18 week program involving supervised, monitored exercise and extensive educational classes to reduce the risk of future heart attacks and heart problems in those patients with a recent heart attack, heart surgery, coronary artery stenting, or angina and other conditions.
Research and investigation are cornerstones of this university-based program. Patients have access to several ongoing clinical trials of investigational drugs and new therapies.
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