Your Whole Life Needs Your Whole Heart
Unlike most infectious disease, heart disease does not happen quickly. This can be confusing, since we associate strokes and heart attacks with heart disease, and these cardiac events are sudden and usually severe. But both heart attack and stroke are the result of long-term heart disease: decades of progression that erupt into an unexpected, often catastrophic, incident.
The average age of the first heart attack is 65, but it takes decades for plaque to build to a critical mass. So if you have your first heart attack at 65, it means that for most of your 30’s, 40’s and 50’s you were suffering from heart disease, and your risk of sudden death gradually increased.
This shouldn’t be the case. One in four people will die of heart disease, but 80% of all heart disease is both preventable and reversible.
We've all become familiar with the top six factors for heart disease — high blood pressure, high total cholesterol, low HDL, diabetes, smoking and obesity. A study was performed on more than 3,500 men who were free of all six of the top risk factors. It found that these men had only a 5% risk of developing heart disease before the age of 95.
Heart disease should not be the number one cause of death. It is preventable. It is reversible. We understand the risks, and we know how to reduce them. All we need is a plan.
If you are over 65, there’s a good chance you already have some development of atherosclerosis, but it’s never too late to reverse the damage done in previous years. The first step is to understand your real risk.
At the Texas Center for Preventive Cardiology, this can involve performing tests to determine the amount of inflammation already present, and developing metabolic and lipid profiles that examine the levels of disease markers. We may perform a non-invasive test to determine the extent of endothelial dysfunction. (Dr. Arashvand is the first and only Austin cardiologist to offer this simple, FDA-approved test.) We’ll take a close look at your diet and physical activity levels, carefully integrating your needs and preferences. We may also look at how well you sleep and how well your mind responds to stressful events.
We’ll assemble this information into a multi-faceted approach that includes nutrition, medication and supplementation, physical activity and mental health.
Improving your health is a large, complex task. We’ll help you break it down into simple steps that you can take one at a time. And we won’t limit our efforts to the prescription pad. This is the nature of preventive care: integrating the practice of medicine with the practice of life.
Did you know…?
If you are free of the top six risk factors for heart disease, you will probably never develop it. One study of 3,500 men who had none of the six major risk factors found only a 5% risk of developing heart disease by age 95. And yet: