by Dr. Arslan Shaukat, Phelps Health
You may have heard the saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This advice is important to remember when it comes to heart disease.
Recently, I received a call from the Phelps Health Emergency Department for a patient who was experiencing chest pains. As I began talking with the patient, I discovered they had never seen a family physician, or a cardiologist, in their entire adult life.
After speaking with them, it was clear that their symptoms and blood work showed signs of a heart attack. X-rays of their heart revealed blockages in all three major arteries, resulting in the patient undergoing coronary bypass surgery. The surgery, which redirects blood around a section of a blocked or partially blocked artery in the heart to improve blood flow to the heart muscle, ultimately saved their life.
The case of the patient described above is an all too familiar story for physicians in the field of cardiology, who see patients at risk for major heart complications every day.
Heart disease remains the number one killer in the United States. Rooted in childhood, heart disease is influenced by unhealthy habits such as smoking, obesity, lack of proper exercise and nutrition, high blood pressure and diabetes. If the possible risk factors for heart disease are caught earlier in life, major heart complications may be prevented in the future.
One of the main aims of cardiology practices is to encourage people to have checkups at an earlier age and have their heart-related risk factors assessed and managed. All adults over the age of 25 should have a health assessment to determine their heart health.
Had the patient described above established primary and heart-related care at an earlier stage in their life, they may have been able to avoid major heart surgery.
Cardiologist Arslan Shaukat, MD, FACC, FSCAI and his colleagues at Phelps Health are dedicated to offering patients a full continuum of heart and vascular care, including diagnostics, treatment, rehabilitation and support. If you have questions about your heart health, please call (573) 308-1301 to schedule an appointment with a Phelps Health cardiologist today.
Arslan Shaukat, MD, FACC, FSCAI joined the Phelps Health Medical Group in July 2018. Dr. Shaukat trained to be a doctor at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. He completed his residency at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana, and completed a three-year fellowship in cardiology at the University of Kansas in Kansas City, Kansas. After that, he also completed a one-year fellowship in interventional cardiology at Hennepin County Medical Center/Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He sees patients in Suite 500 of the Phelps Health Medical Office Building. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in interventional cardiology. Dr. Shaukat was born and raised in Pakistan. He can help patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.