By: Dr. Terry Newman
1. Why Heart Health?
Because more people die from cardiovascular disease than any other disease or accident, we at Texas Gulf Coast Medical Systems remain vigilant in educating and encouraging a heart healthy lifestyle. Cardiovascular disease is the nation’s number one killer, according to the American Heart association, and 28% of Houston area deaths each year are attributed to cardiovascular disease. The cardiovascular system consists of the heart and vessels, which is generally referred to as the heart. While there are some factors you cannot change, like a family history of heart disease, many people have a choice to keep their heart healthy with lifestyle choices.
2. When should we worry about our heart health?
The technically correct answer is that you should always be concerned with your heart health. The actual process of heart disease starts when you are an infant and progresses based on genetic factors and lifestyle choices. Below are risk factors for your heart health:
• High Blood Pressure
• High Blood Cholesterol
• Smoking/tobacco Use
• Overweight or Obese
• Physical Inactivity
• Family History of Heart Disease
• History of Preeclampsia During Pregnancy
• Unhealthy Diet
• Age (55+ Women)
Risk is considered “low” if you have less than two risk factors, “moderate” with two or more, and “high” with symptoms and/or have known disease.
3. What is the My Heart Health program?
Heart Disease is the number one killer of men and women, and Texas Gulf Coast recognizes the need to have preventive measures in place. The My Heart Health program checks the heart and vessels for disease, and offers a plan to remove risk factors based on test results. There are two sets of tests performed to assess heart and vascular health. First is visualization through ultrasound, looking at the blood flow through the carotid arteries as well as the arteries in the legs. Second is seeing how the heart and vessels work together in an exercise test, where we also take a very unique look at your body’s capacity to consume oxygen. Additionally, an advanced lipid analysis can be done if your doctor finds it applicable.
We schedule an assessment day where we perform the testing and a follow-up day where a doctor and/or exercise physiologist will review a plan to treat and reduce risk factors with a patient.
4. How long is the program?
The program can last as long as the patient wants to continue it. After the assessment day, all subsequent visits with the exercise physiologist are absolutely free; no copays and no insurance is billed. The participation level
depends largely on the patient. We encourage a two or a three-month follow-up after our first meeting to go over our risk factor plan to maintain accountability; however, some patients prefer to set up appointments every week. The patient’s physician will review the results and prescribe medications as needed. Repeat testing is done six months and again at a year after initial testing, to evaluate the improvement in lab work and imaging studies.
5. What are the benefits to the program?
Each patient will have unlimited access to the exercise physiologist to prescribe an exercise and weight maintenance plan, and help develop goals and get over hurdles. Patients will also know unique information about their cardiovascular system and metabolic activity such as:
• “Age” of your Vessels compared to Your Actual Age
• Presence of Plaque in Vessels
• Coronary Artery Disease Presence
• Existing Arrhythmias
• Exact Measurement of daily Calorie Demand
• Fat Burning Threshold During Exercise
6. How do I get enrolled into the My Heart Health program?
Call for an appointment with myself or another TGC physician. In your appointment ask your doctor about
referring you to the My Heart Health Program, or the program director Adam Lotts can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*The price of the program varies by insurance.
Click here to learn more about Dr. Terry Newman
Call 281.604.1300 to schedule an appointment.