Cardiovascular Disease Program
Blood pressure control program including screening, monitoring and education is available for individuals. Cholesterol screening with counseling and follow-up can be provided to persons determined at risk. Individual appointments can be made at 502-222-3516.
Heart Disease Conditions
Blood Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver or consumed in certain foods. It is needed by the body, and the liver makes enough for the body’s needs. When there is too much cholesterol in the body—because of diet and the rate at which the cholesterol is processed—it is deposited in arteries, including those of the heart. This can lead to narrowing of the arteries, heart disease, and other complications.
Some cholesterol is often termed “good,” and some often termed “bad.” A higher level of high–density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL, is considered “good,” and gives some protection against heart disease. Higher levels of low–density lipoprotein, or LDL, are considered “bad” and can lead to heart disease. A lipoprotein profile can be done to measure several different forms of cholesterol, as well as triglycerides (another kind of fat) in the blood.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is another major risk factor for heart disease. It is a condition where the pressure of the blood in the arteries is too high. There are often no symptoms to signal high blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure by changes in lifestyle or by medication can lower the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Diabetes also increases a person’s risk for heart disease. With diabetes, the body either doesn’t make enough insulin, can’t use its own insulin as well as it should, or both. This causes sugars to build up in the blood. About three–quarters of people with diabetes die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease. For people with diabetes, it is important to work with a healthcare provider to help in managing it and controlling other risk factors.
About 1 of 3 adults in the United States has high blood pressure, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States.
High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realize they have it. That’s why it’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly.
The good news is that you can take steps to prevent high blood pressure, or to treat it if it is already high.
Diastolic and Systolic
Measuring Your Blood Pressure
Measuring your blood pressure is quick and painless. A doctor or health professional wraps an inflatable cuff with a pressure gauge around your arm to squeeze the blood vessels. Then he or she listens to your pulse with a stethoscope while releasing air from the cuff and watching the gauge. The gauge measures blood pressure in millimeters of mercury, which is abbreviated as mmHg.
Blood pressure is measured using two numbers. The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in your vessels when your heart rests between beats. If the measurement reads 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, you would say “120 over 80″ or write “120/80 mmHg.”
Effects of High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can damage your health in many ways.
For instance, it can harden the arteries, decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. This reduced flow can cause—
- Chest pain, also called angina.
- Heart failure, which occurs when the heart can’t pump enough blood and oxygen to your other organs.
- Heart attack, which occurs when the blood supply to your heart is blocked and heart muscle cells die from a lack of oxygen. The longer the blood flow is blocked, the greater the damage to the heart.
High blood pressure can burst or block arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the brain, causing a stroke.
For vital information about how to prevent high blood pressure, click here.
To learn what conditions contribute to Heart Disease click here.
Also please see Coronary Heart Disease and Symptoms of a Heart Attack.