Game Plan for Heart Health

You can lower your heart disease risk, but not by sitting on the sidelines. This UT Southwestern program shows you how.

After a decade of taking medications on and off for her high cholesterol, and of being dismissed as too young to need to worry about it, 35-year-old Meredith Walter of Keller decided she wanted to know and do more. So she followed up on information she received in the mail and contacted Amit Khera, MD, Director of UT Southwestern’s Preventive Cardiology Program.

Specialized patient care

Each year, almost 1 million Americans suff€er a heart attack, and half of those who die suddenly will have had no previous warning symptoms. Although there is no cure for cardiovascular disease, much can be done to prevent its development and complications.

“The Preventive Cardiology Program is dedicated to preventing cardiovascular disease and its complications, particularly in patients who are at high risk,” Dr. Khera says. “We o€ffer specialized patient care using clinical expertise in preventive cardiology, combined with knowledge of the latest research advances from laboratories at UT Southwestern and elsewhere.”

Gauging risk

Patients in the Program initially meet with a physician and nurse practitioner who review their medical history, family history, lifestyle habits, and results of prior tests and treatments. The medical team uses standard risk assessment methodology, as well as emerging risk factor evaluation, to gauge patients’ risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Additional tests may be needed.

“I haven’t just changed some numbers. I’ve really changed my life and health.”

Meredith Walter

The medical team then develops an individualized plan for exercise, nutrition, and medication (if needed), as well as cutting-edge therapies.

For Meredith, her game plan included specific changes in her diet, practical goals for increased exercise, and paring down her medicines to prescription fish oil. In three months, she saw a dramatic drop in her cholesterol levels.“I feel like I haven’t just changed some numbers, but I’ve really changed my life and health,” she says.

No referral needed. Simply call 214-645-8300 to schedule an appointment with a UT Southwestern cardiologist.