Prevent heart disease: South Denver Cardiologist educates and supports


South Denver Cardiology, in Littleton, goes well beyond treating patients that already suffer from heart problems. Instead, South Denver Cardiology works to get ahead of heart disease by providing preventative programs aimed at education and support.

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Cardiovascular Disease accounts for 1 in 3 deaths in the U.S., amounting to 800,000 deaths per year. Approximately 790,000 adults suffer from a heart attack each year.

Because of the continued increase in heart disease cases, more focus is being put on preventative programs that help patients before problems come up. Dr. Karyl VanBethuysen, an interventional cardiologist with South Denver Cardiology Associates, said they have 25 experts in prevention, early detection and treatment of heart disease.

South Denver Cardiology offers the following in Heart Disease Prevention services:

•A center created around concepts of education in Cardio Vascular Wellness, including exercise classes, nutrition and stress reduction. South Denver Cardiology is home to Denver’s oldest Cardiac Rehab Program.

•South Denver Heart Center, the largest free-standing Heart Clinic of its kind in Colorado.

•Close, convenient, easy parking located in Littleton near Broadway and County Line Road

VanBethuysen said they focus on two areas of prevention, which includes:

•Primary Prevention: This prevention area is aimed at decreasing or delaying the first Cardiac Event in patients free of Heart Disease.

•Secondary Prevention: Secondary prevention focuses on decreasing or delaying cardiac events in patients who have already suffered an event or given a new diagnosis.

No matter what the prevention area, or age of patient, VanBethuysen said focus is placed on helping patients identify and address risk factors, which includes diet, stress, exercise, smoking and knowing family history.

“Smoking is a big deal,” VanBethuysen said. “It is one of the single most important, treatable parts of heart disease prevention. If there is anything I could take away, it’s smoking and preventing anyone from starting it.”

Diet is another major area of focus. South Denver Cardiology works with patients to adopt a new, plant-based diet. Experts at South Denver Cardiology set a priority on showing patients how to shop, how to cook and how to stay on track.

“A plant-based diet can be hard to adopt, but it’s good to get weight under control, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and in general improve a person’s quality of life,” VanBethuysen said. “WE are society where so many of our diets are high in salt and high in fast food. All of that contributes to heart disease risk factors.”

To achieve a heart-healthy diet, the American Heart Association recommends eating:

•A variety of fruits and vegetables

•Whole Grains

•Low fat dairy products

•Skinless poultry and fish,

•Nuts and legumes

•Non-tropical vegetable oils

Exercise is also important in preventing heart problems. VanBethuysen said only 1 in 3 adults actually meet federal recommendations for physical activity. Adults should be getting between 150 and 300 minutes per week of moderate exercise, and between 75 and 150 minutes of high-intensity activity.

To calculate your own heart-disease risk, visit

VanBethuysen said supplements can also be beneficial in preventing heart disease risks. Those supplements include:

•Eicosapent ethyl: This is a highly purified form of fish oil that is effective in high risk patients with elevated Triglycerides

•Aspirin: While not considered as effective for patients in the primary prevention program, Aspirin has been proven useful for patients in the secondary program.

Besides heart disease, living a healthier lifestyle can also prevent other health conditions, including hypertension, elevate cholesterol and diabetes.

Learn more about South Denver Cardiology Associates and the South Denver Heart Center by visiting the website at Likes us on Facebook and Subscribe to us on YouTube.


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