The leading cause of death for men and women in the United States is heart disease. Heart disease accounts for 1 in 4 deaths annually.   At your annual, we will assess for risk factors for heart disease such as family history, elevated cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and obesity. Surprisingly, half of the people with their first heart attack actually have normal cholesterol. This is why we offer a blood test called the Cleveland Heart Panel. This test is done to assess for cardiovascular inflammation which increases the risk of plaque buildup and rupture. The inflammatory markers determine “risk for disease”, “presence of disease” and “disease activity”. Based on the results we can offer dietary and lifestyle modifications, additional screening if indicated or refer you to a cardiologist.   If you are interested in discussing your risk for heart disease then schedule an appointment or mention it at your next annual. In the meantime make sure you are exercising on a regular basis and choosing foods that are good for your heart. We recommend a good Omega 3 supplement as the majority of our patients have elevated Omega 6 and low Omega 3 levels. Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory. Eating a diet high in fatty fish like salmon and adding Flaxseed are easy ways to boost your Omega 3. Taking a supplement of red yeast rice can also help patients with elevated cholesterol. Avoiding excess sugars will help decrease inflammation. Of course, avoiding tobacco use is extremely important, especially as it causes constriction of coronary vessels. 

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