Heart Disease Specialist

Kansas Medical Associates, PA

Internists & Pediatricians located in Andover, KS

Heart disease is the number one killer in this country, but, in most cases, it's a preventable illness. The staff members at Kansas Medical Associates in Wichita, Kansas, teach their patients about the dangers of heart disease and the best ways to avoid it. For people who do develop a form of heart disease, their healthcare provider at Kansas Medical Associates will create a customized care plan to manage their condition.

Heart Disease Q&A

What is heart disease?

The term "heart disease" really covers a variety of cardiac-related illnesses like:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Congenital heart defects

It's a term that refers to any condition or disease process that affects the heart muscle.

Is heart disease the same thing as cardiovascular disease?

They are not the same, but the two terms are often used interchangeably. Cardiovascular disease is much more specific. It refers to the narrowing or blocking of the blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Heart disease is a wider term relating to heart problems in general.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

That will depend on the exact problem and its underlying factors. Some common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or numbness in the extremities
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, stomach or back

It is possible to have heart disease without having any of these symptoms which is why annual checkups are important.

Is high blood pressure the same thing as heart disease?

No. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a warning sign of impending or existing heart disease. When a patient has high blood pressure or hypertension, it indicates excessive force on the artery walls. That long-term force can lead to complications of heart disease.

Hypertension is something that many people face as they get older, but, proper treatment and lifestyle changes lower that person's risk of developing heart problems.

What are the risk factors for heart disease?

There are a number of risk factors for this problem including:

  • Age
  • Being male
  • Family history
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Stress
  • Poor hygiene

Some people develop heart disease even if they don't fall into a typical risk category.

What types of screening is done for heart disease?

Most people have their blood pressure taken every time they seek medical treatment or evaluation. It's one of the primary screening tests done to diagnose heart problems.

EKGs, or electrocardiograms, are also very common. They measure the electrical activity in the heart and it's a test that can be done right in the Kansas Medical Associates office.

Lipid testing and cardiac risk assessment is also available at Kansas Medical Associates.  Lifestyle programs and nutrition counseling are also provided to reduce risk factors for heart disease.