Heart risk assessments

Heart risk assessments

Joe Kardos
Christiana Care's free heart risk assessment helped Joe Kardos to take control of his cardiovascular health.

Joseph Kardos, age 55, is a kind and easygoing man. He doesn’t let many things bother him, including his high triglyceride levels. Even though he knows his cholesterol levels are high, he just ignores them. He considers himself to be in pretty good shape, overall.

Fortunately for him, early this summer his wife Sandy decided to check out Christiana Care’s cardiovascular screening and prevention program. She visited Web site for Christiana Care’s free heart-risk assessment and took the seven-minute Internet heart risk test on Joseph’s behalf. Her concerns about her husband were confirmed when she printed out the risk-assessment report. Joseph was indeed at risk for heart disease.

Joseph knew then that he had to take his situation a little more seriously. As a follow-up to the online risk assessment test, since he was identified with risk factors for heart disease, he was encouraged to schedule a cardiovascular screening with a cardiovascular nurse at the Center for Heart & Vascular Health. The screening focused on risk factors such as smoking, physical activity, family history of early heart disease, waist measurement, body mass index, blood pressure, fasting lipid and glucose profiles, stress and depression. Results showed that his cholesterol levels were significantly abnormal.

Following a multidisciplinary review with Edward Goldenberg, M.D., medical director for the program, results of the screening and best-practice recommendations were provided to Joseph and his doctor. Through the program, Joseph was also referred to exercise and nutrition classes at Christiana Care.

Joseph met with his primary care doctor and started taking cholesterol-lowering medication. He also read through the educational materials included in the heart- healthy kit he received and is considering using the pedometer that was included. Because he’s taking care of a sore foot, he says he’ll get to the exercise class once his foot heals. However, concerning nutrition, Joseph says, “This screening got me thinking more about my health and I’m not just going to ignore it anymore. Now it’s always in the back of my mind.”

The Center for Heart & Vascular Health launched the cardiovascular screening and prevention program to help people see their own risk factors and take action to  prevent or delay the onset of initial cardiovascular events such as heart attacks or strokes. What makes this program unique is the long-term focus on patient health and well-being. Unlike typical screening approaches that focus on the short-term, 10-year risk, this program combines on-site screening with a more in-depth medical review that considers an individual’s lifetime risk for developing cardiovascular disease. And, while individuals like Joseph may not be ready to change all their habits immediately, individuals who take the online screening are more aware of their risk for illness and are provided tools to improve their health.

Did you know?

The Center for Heart & Vascular Health launched the cardiovascular screening and prevention program to build healthier lives in our community. The program alerts individuals who may be at risk for heart disease or stroke so they can make healthy changes to prevent or delay the onset of initial cardiovascular events. Hundreds have gone online to www.christianacare.org/hearttest to learn about their risks for heart disease and obtain a printed risk-assessment report to discuss with their doctor.