Are you or a loved one interested in learning more about cardiac health? Whether you have general questions about heart health or questions specific to Hunt Regional’s cardiology services, our FAQ section will provide you with the answers you’re looking for. Below is a list of questions addressed throughout our Cardiology FAQ:
- Who should consider a cardiac rehab program
- How long do cardiac rehab programs last?
- How does a stress test work?
- Do cardiac tests hurt?
- How does stress affect the heart?
- Are cardiopulmonary problems hereditary?
- What are some factors that put me at risk for cardiac problems?
- What is a CHF Telemanagement Program and how does it work?
Who should consider a cardiac rehab program?
The cardiac rehab programs offered at Hunt Regional can benefit patients who have any of the following symptoms or conditions:
- Acute myocardial infarction
- Coronary-prone individuals
- Valvular heart disease
- Myocardial disease with history of congestive heart failure
- Atherosclerotic heart disease
- Angina pectoris (chest pain)
- An abnormal stress test
- Angioplasty or artherectomy
- Pacemaker or AICD
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Heart transplant
To learn more about how our cardiac rehabilitation programs could benefit you, please visit our Rehabilitation Programs page
How long do cardiac rehab programs last?
At Hunt Regional, we offer cardiac rehabilitation programs designed to fit your specific needs. Our outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program includes physician-supervised exercise sessions for up to 12 weeks. However, because our programs are designed to help restore and maintain your well-being, we offer a follow-up program to maintain your cardiovascular fitness following the 12-week program.
How does a stress test work?
Stress tests are designed to determine your cardiac health, diagnosing if there is any significant blockage in your coronary arteries. During an EKG stress test, you are attached to an electrocardiogram machine with electrodes and asked to walk on a treadmill until you reach a pre-determined heart rate while a physician monitors for EKG changes.
If you cannot walk very well or long enough to perform a traditional stress test, our physicians at Hunt Regional can perform a Dobutamine Stress EKG. During this procedure, Dobutamine is infused through a catheter to increase your heart rate and the strength of your heart’s contractions, mimicking the heart’s behavior during exercise while a physician monitors your EKG.
Do cardiac tests hurt?
Patient comfort is of the utmost importance to us at Hunt Regional, and our physicians ensure that all cardiac testing is done in the least invasive way possible. Most of the cardiac tests we offer are completely pain free and simply require that electrodes are attached to your skin to allow for imaging of the heart. Some of our testing does require drawing blood and in some instances the patient will be put under conscious sedation to minimize discomfort. To learn more about the cardiac tests we offer and how they are administered, please visit our Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics page
How does stress affect the heart?
Stress is an unavoidable part of daily life, but excessive stress and how you manage stress can have an impact on your cardiac health. Stress can influence blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which increase the risk of heart disease. Additionally, some individuals turn to negative habits such as overeating, smoking cigarettes or excessive alcohol consumption to cope with excessive stress, and these behaviors greatly increase the risk of heart disease.
Are cardiopulmonary problems hereditary?
Some risk factors for cardiopulmonary problems are hereditary and thus out of your control. Children of parents with heart disease are more likely to develop cardiac issues themselves, while certain races are predisposed to heart disease. African Americans, Mexican Americans, American Indians and native Hawaiians are all at higher risk for heart disease than Caucasians. Men are also at a higher risk of cardiopulmonary problems than women, and those over 65 are much more likely to experience cardiac problems.
What are some factors that put me at risk for cardiac problems?
There are a variety of factors that can put you at risk for cardiac problems, some of which can be changed. These risk factors include:
- Smoking tobacco
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Physical inactivity
- Excess body fat
The presence of more than one of these factors greatly increases your risk for cardiac problems. Additionally, stress, alcohol consumption and diet are other controllable factors that can raise your chances of experiencing heart-related issues.
What is a CHF Telemanagement Program and how does it work?
A CHF Telemanagement Program is designed to provide daily monitoring of vital signs for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). In Hunt Regional’s’ CHF Telemanagement Program, we send you scales and instruction on calling our dedicated CHF line daily to report your weight and other clinical markers. In some cases, patients will be given equipment to monitor their blood pressure, heart rate and blood oxygen level as well. Our CHF telephone line is monitored daily by licensed professionals who will return your call if your condition warrants. To learn more, please visit our CHF Telemanagement Program page
If you have additional cardiology questions, you can also call our Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at 903-408-5050.