Heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country. However, adults are not the only one at risk for heart disease. Increasingly, the signs and symptoms of heart disease are beginning to appear in our children, too. Poor nutritional habits combined with a lack of exercise are the major contributors to the development of risk factors at an early age. The Prevention Clinic at Children's Hospital & Medical Center was designed to help prevent premature development of heart disease in our children through education about the risk factors and lifestyle modifications.
Patients referred to the clinic are often adolescents who already possess some of the primary risk factors for heart disease and/or have a family history of early heart disease. When assessing a child's risk factors, we look at hypertension, hyper lipid abnormalities, cholesterol level, obesity, diabetes, over production of insulin and tobacco use.
Our team of health care professionals that includes a cardiologist, physician's assistant, nutritionist and nurse start by assessing your child's risk factors and will then develop a plan to help your child manage these risk factors. This plan will be discussed with you and your child and may include lifestyle changes, medications, nutrition counseling as well as family counseling.
We typically see patients at three, six and 12-month intervals. During the interim, we will follow-up with your child's progress by phone. We strongly encourage participation by parents who can have a strong influence on their child's early lifestyle habits. In addition, many of our parents often report success in lowering some of their own risk factors.