At the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Heart Center, our Preventive Cardiology Program provides a complete range of services for kids with conditions that place them at risk for early heart attack or stroke. When risk factors such as obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and elevated blood pressure are properly treated—often with a healthy diet and exercise—early cardiovascular disease may be prevented.
Why is preventive cardiology important?
Preventive cardiology helps children modify risk factors, which can help decrease their chances of developing cardiovascular disease as they age. Some common reasons a child would need to see a preventive cardiologist include elevated blood pressure (hypertension) or high cholesterol (dyslipidemia), which are major concerns for kids. Evaluation and treatment of these problems early in life can improve long-term cardiovascular health.
We are often able to treat these conditions noninvasively, or without medication, through dietary improvements and increased physical activity. We tailor our recommendations specifically for each individual patient by setting realistic, gradual lifestyle-improvement goals that will have a positive impact on their heart health in the future.
What conditions does the Preventive Cardiology Program treat?
Conditions evaluated and treated in the Preventive Cardiology Program include:
- Elevated lipoprotein(a)
- Family history of early atherosclerosis
- Genetic and secondary dyslipidemias
- Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hypertriglyceridemia (elevated triglycerides)
- Low HDL cholesterol
- Obesity/overweight with one of the above conditions
What to expect at the Preventive Cardiology Program
Outpatient evaluation and initial management are provided at our outpatient cardiology clinics. Inpatient consultations are also available at Egleston hospital.
If your child is found to be at risk of early heart attack or stroke, they will need follow-up care and management of his condition. We offer close monitoring; counseling on nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle changes; and advice on treatment with or without medicine.
Your child's initial assessment will include:
- Review of your child's medical history
- Review of family medical history
- Review of laboratory studies
- Physical exam
Our preventive cardiology team works with other specialties as needed, including:
Other procedures that may be needed to assess your child's condition are:
- Nutrition assessment and counseling by our registered dietitian
- Cardiopulmonary exercise testing
- Genetic testing and counseling
- Additional laboratory testing and diagnostic studies
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