Radio Interview

Preventive Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular Health is health in relation to the heart and blood vessels. In addition to addressing the concerns of both patients and their referring doctors, consulting a specialist cardiologist is an excellent opportunity for patients to receive advice on optimal Preventive Cardiovascular Health .

Preventive Cardiovascular Health can be defined as health care for patients who feel perfectly well but in whom disease processes (e.g. high blood pressure or high cholesterol) are at work which will, in the future, perhaps years down the track, cause, for example, heart attack and/or death. 

Indeed the issues and advice related to prevention may end up being far more important than the issues and advice related to the original concerns. 

Receiving and following through on advice on Preventive Cardiovascular Health may well require additional consultations.

Areas to be addressed include: 

  • Cholesterol
  • Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Fluvax and Pneumovax
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Weight 
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

With respect to diet, exercise and healthy weight, Dr Nelson suggests all patients follow the Heart Foundation recommendations. To assist patients to familiarise themselves with these recommendations, the Heart Foundation has educators who can be contacted by telephone, can post detailed information brochures to patients. In addition the Heart Foundation has a website from which detailed information for patients can be accessed. Most of the services provided by the Heart Foundation are "free" as it is a publicly funded organisation. 

One of the Heart Foundation recommendations for exercise is "at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week. This can be accumulated in bouts of 10minutes or more if this is more convenient”. As a guide, moderate intensity walking exercise is walking at fast enough a pace that it is difficult to carry on a normal conversation without becoming breathless.

The Heart Foundation is a useful source of information for all aspects of cardiovascular health and disease. Dr Nelson encourages patients to make full use of their services. 

The Heart Foundation can be contacted on:
Phone: 13 11 12


Fluvax and Pneumovax

Prevent infections which in turn lead to prevention of strokes and heart attacks. 

Dr Nelson recommends that the following patients discuss annual Fluvax with their General Practitioner:

  • All patients over age 50

  • Patients with heart disease

  • Patients who have suffered a stroke

  • Patients with Lung disease, kidney disease or any other chronic medical condition

Dr Nelson recommends the following patients discuss a one-off Pneumovax with their General Practitioner:

  • All patients over age 65

  • Patients with heart disease

  • Patients who have suffered a stroke

  • Patients with Lung disease, kidney disease or any other chronic medical condition

For all men aged > 60 years of age who are siblings or offspring of patients with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms and all men 65-70 years of age who have ever smoked, I recommend general practitioners arrange a formal abdominal ultrasound through a Radiology or Vascular Surgery Imaging service to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysm, as this has been demonstrated to reduce mortality (transthoracic echocardiography, though of some utility in this context, is not sufficient to exclude abdominal aortic aneurysm due to technical limitations)

Another useful source of information for patients is a patient education website on the American College of Cardiology Foundation.

Finally patients should be aware that there is medical research is ongoing and that over the years important breakthroughs are expected to continue to be made including in the area of prevention.

If patients wish to take full advantage of these breakthroughs, they must continue to see their General Practitioners and specialists for checkups even if they feel that their health status has not changed.

If you do not wish Preventive Cardiovascular Health issues to be addressed in your case, please notify one of our secretaries as soon as practicable, as work on these aspects of your case begins prior to your consultation.