Direct Primary Care Workup For Cardiovascular Disease

by Brent Woods

While cardiovascular disease may cause chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and other symptoms, it is often asymptomatic. This means that people can have cardiovascular disease and not notice any symptoms. Because of this, it is essential that you get regular direct primary care examinations, especially if you have risk factors for heart disease such as family history, smoking, obesity, and diabetes. Here are some medical interventions that may be included in your direct primary care workup for cardiovascular disease.

Physical Examination

During your direct primary care examination for cardiovascular disease, your physician will perform a comprehensive physical examination and they will take a medical history from you. During your physical examination, the doctor will listen to your heart with a stethoscope to assess the rhythm and rate of your heart. The stethoscope evaluation can alert your physician to cardiovascular conditions such as bradycardia, which means that your heart is beating too slow, and tachycardia, which indicates a rapid heart rate.

The doctor will also check your ankles and feet for signs of edema, or swelling, which may indicate poor circulation as a result of blocked arteries. Your pedal pulses will also be palpated. These are the pulses that are located on the tops of your feet, and if absent, further testing may be recommended to rule out heart or blood vessel disease such as peripheral artery disease.

Blood Chemistry Profile

In addition to your physical examination and oral medical history, your direct primary care physician may recommend a blood chemistry profile to assess your risk for cardiovascular disease. The blood chemistry profile can reveal the presence of a number of health disorders, including diabetes and kidney disease. Also included in the blood chemistry profile is the total cholesterol test.

Abnormal cholesterol levels, especially high levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) are thought to raise the risk for cardiovascular disease. LDL cholesterol is also known as "bad cholesterol." Conversely, elevated levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) may decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease. HDL cholesterol is also known as "good cholesterol."

If your blood chemistry profile reveals significant cholesterol abnormalities, diabetes, or kidney disease, your doctor may determine that you are at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Because of this, the physician may recommend further diagnostic testing or they may refer you to a cardiologist for further evaluation and treatment.

If you believe that you are at an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease, make an appointment with your direct primary care physician. When cardiovascular disease is diagnosed and treated while it is still in the early stages, you may be more likely to enjoy a very favorable prognosis.

For more information, contact a medical professional such as PL Providers.