Heart - Cardiology & Cardiovascular Surgery

What is Heart Health Prevention?

"The whole paradigm is shifting away from targeting the person at the edge of the cliff toward identifying him well before he reaches that edge," says Jonathan L. Halperin, MD, Professor of Cardiology and Director of Clinical Cardiology Services at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "We've moved from being able to diagnose disease when it is present to identifying and overcoming risk before disease develops." 

At Mount Sinai Fuster Heart Hospital, we have found that the best way to treat heart disease is to prevent cardiovascular episodes from happening in the first place. To do that, we have to start with eliminating risk factors. Most people with heart disease have had prior exposure to at least one major risk factor. The good news is that many factors can be managed, even reversed, with simple lifestyle changes. Risk factors for heart disease include but are not limited to:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the "bad" kind)
  • Low high- low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the "good" kind)
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Family history
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Alcoholism

All of these factors are relevant and you do not need to have all risk factors in order to be at a high risk for heart disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about heart disease prevention.