For men, a healthy heart is a vital part of maintaining overall physical, mental and emotional wellness; however, with modern-day conveniences, stress and poor lifestyle habits, it's easy for men to slowly damage their hearts and overall health.
The following statistics highlight how important it is for men to maintain their heart health:
- More than 322,000 American men died from heart disease in 2008.
- Most men will experience their first heart attack around the age of 66.
- About 80 percent of all cases of heart failure occur in men.
The good news is that with a few lifestyle changes and the right medical supervision, men can improve their heart health sooner than they think!
Heart and Vascular Care at Loma Linda University Health
For more than 20 years, Loma Linda University Health has been committed to providing men with cutting-edge, patient-centered care in a professional, caring manner. Our holistic healthcare approach focuses on:
- Diagnosing and treating men's heart conditions
- Teaching men how to improve their heart health to prevent future heart problems
At Loma Linda University Health, our highly trained staff has an extensive background in comprehensively treating men of all ages with a variety of heart-related conditions, including but are not limited to:
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Enlarged heart
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- Heart failure or cardiomyopathy
- High cholesterol
- Marfan Syndrome
Our services also extend to the realm of preventative care and rehabilitation to ensure that men regain their optimal heart health. Some of these services are offered through our Center for Health Promotion and include but are not limited to:
- Educational classes and seminars specifically geared toward men through our Cardiovascular Health and Wellness Department
- Help quitting smoking
- Nutritional counseling to help men develop and stick to a heart healthy diet
- Regular checkups
Diagnosis & Treatment
Early diagnosis and treatment of heart problems is vital to helping men achieve fast, full recoveries. And although nearly 323,000 men died from heart disease last year, studies indicate that diagnosing and treating conditions such as high cholesterol and hypertension can result in a 21 percent reduction of heart disease.
Since 1987, Loma Linda University Health has concentrated on working with men to:
- Efficiently diagnose various heart conditions in men
- Improve technologies and methods to promote opportunity for early diagnoses
- Provide prompt, comprehensive treatment for heart problems diagnosed in men
- Research new treatment methods to improve the quality of care at Loma Linda University Health International Heart Institute
Diagnosing Heart Conditions
The precise methods used to diagnose a man's heart condition will depend on his unique medical history and specific symptoms. In most cases, our heart specialists will use some combination of:
- Echocardiography - an ultrasound that creates an image of the heart so doctors can examine the heart's structure
- Electrocardiograms (EKG or ECG) - tests that monitor the heart's electrical activities via electrodes placed on the skin. EKGs can be effective at diagnosing arrhythmias and heart disease
- Radionuclide ventriculography or multiple-gated acquisition scanning (MUGA) - an imaging test that depicts the heart's functional capabilities. During a MUGA, men are injected with a radioactive substance that readily appears during x-rays and CT scans.
Other diagnostic procedures used at Loma Linda University Health include blood tests, exercise-stress tests and x-rays.
About Our Heart Condition Treatment Services
Following diagnosis, our expert staff will then prescribe men a course of treatment that, in many cases, will need to begin immediately to prevent further health complications. With our top-of-the-line equipment and cutting-edge technologies, the staff at Loma Linda University Health is able to effectively diagnose and treat a variety of heart conditions in men, including but not limited to:
- Aortic aneurysm
- Arrhythmias and heart murmurs
- Cardiac arrest
- Congenital heart defects
- Heart attack
- Heart or coronary artery disease
- Rheumatic fever
While a particular treatment regimen will vary based on the type and severity of a man's heart condition, treatments we provide include but are not limited to:
- Complex surgical procedures, including coronary bypass, angioplasty and heart transplantation
- Prescription medication
- Ongoing rehabilitation including education and counseling on lifestyle and diet changes that will improve heart health
Prevention & Risk Evaluation
Men are historically four times as likely as women to suffer from sudden cardiac events, and in 2008, more than 322,000 men died from heart disease alone. Understanding the risks of heart problems and taking measures to prevent them can be crucial in minimizing the chances that men develop life-threatening heart conditions.
Risk Factors for Heart Problems
Caucasian men are more likely to suffer from heart disease than African American and Latino men with 9.4 percent of all Caucasian men, 7.1 percent of African American men and 5.6 percent of Latino men developing heart disease at some point in their lifetime. Although genetic and weight factors play a significant role in the structure and function of a man's heart, so too do lifestyle habits and nutritional practices, including:
- Alcohol and / or drug use
In 2008, smoking and obesity were actually the top two factors contributing to development of heart disease in American men.
About Our Heart Problem Prevention Services
At Loma Linda University Health's Cardiovascular Wellness Department and our Center for Health Promotion (CHP), our experienced, well-trained staff is committed to working with men to:
- Educate them about the causes of and risk factors for heart problems
- Inform them about the diet and lifestyle changes they can make to improve their heart health
- Monitor their progress and motivate them to maintain their heart healthy practices.
An individual man's prevention recommendations will vary according to his particular risk of developing severe heart conditions. Our prevention services are focused on helping men learn how to make and maintain healthy eating choices, understand the importance of regular exercise, develop and maintain a healthy exercise regimen, quit smoking if applicable and address their drug and / or alcohol use if applicable.
About Our Heart Risk Evaluation Services
To thoroughly evaluate a man's risk for developing heart problems, our staff compiles a detailed medical profile for each patient that includes information about the man's age and his history of:
- Alcohol and / or drug use
- Chronic medical conditions
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Prescription medication use
- Surgery and other invasive treatments
- Weight fluctuations
These comprehensive charts help our knowledgeable specialists provide effective, patient-centered care focused on promoting men's overall wellbeing. To assess a man’s heart health on an ongoing basis, our dedicated physicians may also require patients to have regular checkups and blood tests.
Cardiac rehabilitation refers to the supervision, interaction and help patients get from doctors in an effort to recover from a heart condition. At Loma Linda University Health, highly trained doctors and nurses offer compassionate and comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation services to men who need both in- and outpatient care.
To ensure that each man receives the most effective, enduring cardiac rehab services, Loma Linda University Health staff specifically tailors a particular heart health rehabilitation program to each man's unique needs. Our patient-centered care is key to helping men dramatically improve their heart health, as well as their overall wellbeing and quality of life.
What Happens During Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Rehab for heart health at our cutting-edge facilities includes:
- A thorough medical evaluation, during which the type and severity of a man's condition is assessed. In addition to gathering a man's comprehensive medical history, our staff will also evaluate his physical limitations in order to design a safe and effective exercise and diet plan.
- An exercise regimen, which outlines the types and amounts of physical exercise (or activity) that a man needs to practice regularly. In most cases, our specialists will recommend that men walk, cycle, jog or perform other activities between three to five times per week. Part of the exercise regimen also includes teaching men proper exercise techniques, including stretching, warming up before and cooling down after physical activity.
- Counseling on lifestyle changes, which involves educating men about lifestyle habits and dietary choices that can improve and worsen their heart conditions. As part of this counseling, men will likely work with nutritionists to develop a healthy, realistic diet plan.
- Therapy, which helps treat the mental and emotional effects of heart problems. Men with heart conditions may become depressed and need some extra support particularly if they have endured a permanent injury or disability due to their condition. Focusing on lifting men's spirits and improving their outlook can help them stay motivated to follow through with cardiac rehabilitation and improve their quality of life in shorter periods of time.
And, in cases where men need to start taking medications, doctors will also be involved to prescribe medications and monitor their effects on a man's health.