At Minneapolis Heart Institute®, we believe it is critical to not only treat heart disease where it exists but prevent heart disease before it begins. Our Preventive Cardiology Clinic provides risk assessment, screening and preventive strategies based on the latest research. Clinic staff work with individuals who already have or who are at risk of heart disease, helping them reduce risks and maintain health through a variety of innovative programs.
New 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on Treating Blood Cholesterol
2013 introduced a new chapter in the management of primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. The ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults replaced treat-to-target with an outlined risk-based strategy for optimal patient care in the management of hyperlipidemia.
Given this new guideline, we developed two practice tools in 2014 to supplement primary care physicians’ clinical practice.
- A comprehensive Statin Therapy Algorithm based on the ACC/AHA Guideline.
- A new CV education video series called Cardiobites with these topics:
- The New Cholesterol Guidelines: A Step in the Right Direction? with Michael Miedema, MD, MPH
- Statin Intolerance – An Update with Thomas Knickelbine, MD
Areas of focus for 2011 included increased sophistication of risk stratification, enhanced treatment programs and an expanded view of focus. The clinic is staffed by experts in the recognition and treatment of patients with existing cardiovascular disease, as well as patients with high cardiovascular risk without disease, such as having a family member with premature heart disease.
Clinic physicians have developed strategies to approach the common problem of intolerance to statin medications (statin aching). They have incorporated emerging risk factors in patient assessments, including the use of highly sensitive CRP assay, calcium scoring, LDL particle size and lipoprotein(a) measurement. These tools are needed in the expanding field of risk assessment and help the Preventive Cardiology team develop a personal optimal treatment approach. Registered dietitians and other care specialists are available to help patients achieve their goals.
We now offer a complete apheresis program for those individuals with extremely elevated LDL cholesterol. This technique uses dialysis-like technology to remove harmful atherogenic LDL particles from the blood. Marked elevations of LDL cholesterol can be familial. This common problem, called familial hypercholesterolemia, affects 1 in 500 Americans and can lead to heart attack and cardiovascular death before age 40. It often affects multiple family members, which emphasizes the need for comprehensive screening of all family members. The apheresis program offers these patients the ability to reduce cholesterol to near-normal levels when all other medical treatments fail.
The coronary calcium CT scan is the single most effective test to detect heart disease in its earliest stage. It is especially helpful for patients who have several risk factors but no symptoms of heart disease. Coronary artery calcium scoring is expressed as score adjusted for age and gender. All HeartScan Minnesota scores are compared to a database of more than 19,000 asymptomatic people of the same age and gender. Each scan is reviewed by a cardiologist and radiologist, and patients receive a comprehensive, personalized information packet to help them understand the results. Radiation doses are carefully monitored to ensure the lowest possible radiation exposure. The test is available at a price that ensures patients can consider having it regardless of insurance coverage.
Partnering in Prevention—Predict One™
To enhance prevention services for patients throughout the region, Minneapolis Heart Institute® offers the Predict One™ program. This program provides a complete package of comprehensive calcium scoring, risk stratification and treatment algorithms to partners within the Minneapolis Heart Institute® integrated cardiovascular network. It is currently offered at Minneapolis Heart Institute® – Baxter, Allina Health Clinic – Faribault, Hutchinson Area Health Care Center and New Ulm Medical Center.
Disparities remain in recognizing and treating cardiovascular disease in women. Women are also traditionally under-represented in clinical research. The Women’s Heart Health Program tackles these issues by focusing on clinical care, education and research related to cardiovascular disease in women. Women have the benefit of excellent, comprehensive clinical care from a multi-disciplinary team of experts. At-visit lab results and advanced imaging services deliver timely responses to women’s concerns.
Dedicated to its mission of supporting women, the Women’s Heart Health Program provides numerous industry, professional and community education events. The Women-Only Cardiac Support Group is a weekly program offering encouragement, camaraderie and education about heart health. The Women’s Heart Health Program’s collaboration with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation seeks to close the gender gap by initiating and participating in national and local research, including pioneering research in gender-specific stress cardiomyopathy.