Cardiology

What is Cardiovascular Disease or Heart Disease?

Cardiovascular disease, or heart disease, describes a variety of conditions that affect the heart. These diseases include heart defects from birth, blood vessel diseases, heart rhythm issues and conditions that involve blocked or narrowed blood vessels that can cause a heart attack, chest pain or stroke. Several forms of heart disease can be treated or prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it is important to become aware of your risk factors for heart disease and to take steps to reduce them.

What is a Cardiologist?

A cardiologist is a doctor of internal medicine who is an expert in detecting, preventing and managing diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Cardiologists may help patients identify heart disease risk factors and educate them on how to reduce their risk of developing heart disease. Cardiologists can specialize in different areas such as pediatric cardiology, adult cardiology, echocardiography, electrophysiology and interventional procedures such as angioplasty and stent placement.

What Does a Cardiologist do?

A cardiologist reviews a patient's medical information and performs a physical examination which could include checking your heart, weight, blood pressure, lungs and blood vessels. A cardiologist may recommend further testing such as an EKG or blood test. If heart disease risk factors are identified, your cardiologist may suggest certain lifestyle changes to improve the health of your heart.

When to see a Cardiologist

When detected early, heart disease can be managed and treated more easily. If you have at least one of the following risk factors, it is important to speak with your doctor to learn how to reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Heart Disease Risk Factors:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • High blood sugar
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Family history

Seek immediate care if you have the following heart disease symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting

Benefits of UnityPoint Clinic Cardiology

Your heart deserves the very best care, with top quality, safety and a doctor you can trust. UnityPoint Clinic Cardiology provides state-of-the-art technology in a comfortable setting with knowledgeable, compassionate staff. Our providers have board-certifications in most cardiac sub-specialties. They're able to coordinate virtually everything you need from tests to surgeries to advanced clinical procedures and rehabilitation — to keep your heart healthy and strong.