Several factors can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including:
Generally, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease increases as you get older. The overall condition of your heart, also known as your "heart age," can be estimated by examining the condition of your arteries, reviewing your risk factors and determining whether you have early-stage heart disease but don't have symptoms yet.
High blood pressure is directly related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Even slightly elevated blood pressure, known as prehypertension, can increase your risk.
If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, your risk of cardiovascular disease is substantially increased.
The higher your level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol, and the lower your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol, the higher your risk of cardiovascular disease. Certain genetic conditions may also cause high cholesterol levels.
Low levels of HDL cholesterol are also associated with greater risk for heart disease.
If you have a first-degree male relative (father, brother, son, uncle) who suffered a first heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease before age 55 or a female first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter, aunt) who suffered the same before age 65, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease is increased.
Smoking (including exposure to secondhand smoke), eating a high-fat diet, not getting enough physical activity or being overweight or obese can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Regular feelings of depression, anxiety and anger may also increase your risk.
Reducing some or all of these risks is the key to having a healthier heart.
Our team works with you to develop a personalized plan to reduce your risk factors by:
- Diagnosing heart problems early
- Offering specialized treatment that meets your needs
- Supporting you through your lifestyle changes, which may include quitting smoking, dietary adjustments and exercise
What we offer
Our program includes:
- Evaluation by our cardiology specialists and follow-up visits to track your progress
- Consultation with a registered dietitian-nutritionist for weight loss, if needed, and management of cardiovascular risk factors
- Visits with a clinical exercise physiologist who provides activity counseling
- Comprehensive lab tests to measure cardiac risk factors
- Specialized lipid/lipoprotein testing
- Specialized imaging tests, such as the coronary calcium scan
- Exercise and nuclear stress tests to assess your blood flow
- Body composition assessment to determine how much of your body's mass is lean tissue (organs, muscles, water and bone)
- Genetic screening for cardiovascular disease
- Cardiovascular risk profiling and risk scoring to help you stay on track with your treatment plan
We offer the most advanced technologies in the treatment of high cholesterol, including the latest advances in cholesterol-lowering therapies.
We also offer referrals for lipoprotein apheresis, a type of dialysis that removes cholesterol and other fats from the blood.
Our expert cardiologists work with a highly skilled team of vascular, endovascular and cardiothoracic surgeons, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians and exercise physiologists.
They are all dedicated to providing innovative and compassionate care to you and your loved ones.
Working at UC Irvine Medical Center, Orange County's only university medical center, our cardiologists not only consult with patients, they conduct research and clinical trials.
This means you will receive a higher level of care, grounded in the latest evidence-based treatments and therapies. Many of our physicians have been named Best Doctors in America® by their peers. We also have the largest team of experts dedicated to women's heart health in Orange County.