Cardiovascular Services

Cardiovascular Services
Heart disease is the top cause of death in women and men, which is why the doctors at Ballantyne Medical Associates in Charlotte, North Carolina, offer cardiology services such as cardiac diagnostic testing. By assessing your risk and running the appropriate tests when necessary, we can catch heart disease early and develop a treatment plan to keep you healthy and engaged in an active, long life.

Cardiovascular Services Q & A

How do you know if you’re at risk for cardiovascular disease?

The only way to know for sure whether you’re at risk for heart disease is to visit your doctor and get a complete physical exam and blood tests to learn your cholesterol levels. However, you’ll get a good idea about your general risk by seeing if you match any of the factors that increase your risk for heart disease. You’re at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease if you’re a man older than 45 or a woman over the age of 55. A family history of heart disease is normally a red flag, too. Other risk factors include:

High blood pressure: High blood pressure makes your heart work harder and causes damage to blood vessels

High cholesterol: Excess cholesterol can stick to artery walls, block the flow of blood, and cause a heart attack  

Overweight and obesity: Being overweight puts you at risk even if you don’t have any of the other risk factors

Diabetes: Diabetes is a significant risk factor

Smoking: Cigarette smoking can raise blood pressure and damage your heart and blood vessels.

What cardiac diagnostic tests are provided by Ballantyne Medical Associates?

If the doctors at Ballantyne Medical Associates are worried about your risk factors, or an examination or blood tests raise concerns about your heart, they’re prepared to find answers with in-depth diagnostic testing, such as:

  • Echocardiography: Creates a moving picture of your heart
  • EKG (electrocardiogram): Checks the heart’s electrical activity
  • Carotid duplex scans: Checks for blockages in the carotid artery
  • Carotid intima-media thickness test: Measures atherosclerosis in carotid artery
  • Arterial duplex scanning: Images of the arteries in your arms, legs, and neck
  • Ankle brachial index test: Compares blood pressure in the ankle to blood pressure in the arm
  • Venous duplex scanning: Images of veins that return blood back to the heart
  • Abdominal ultrasound: Provides images of the abdominal aorta and the organs in the abdomen

What happens if you need specialized heart care?

When our tests show you have a problem in your heart or blood vessels, it’s time to see a cardiologist. We’ll give you a referral to a trusted physician and, with your permission, we’ll share our test results and talk with the cardiologist to make sure your transition goes smoothly. We’re still your primary care physicians, so we’re here to answer questions and to support your health through treatment for heart disease, especially with areas that are so vital for your heart like nutrition, reducing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight.  

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