Preventive Cardiology

Clinical Heart and Vascular Center

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-8000

The experienced Preventive Cardiology team at UT Southwestern Medical Center delivers individualized, research-based care aimed at lowering people’s risk for cardiovascular disease and its complications.

Uniting traditional approaches and new, research-based strategies, our expert preventive cardiologists work to identify and mitigate risk factors for heart disease.

Personalized Care to Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Preventive cardiology is a subspecialty focused on lowering patients’ risk for developing heart disease and having a first heart attack or stroke while also preventing further issues in people who already have cardiovascular disease.

A unique resource in the region, UT Southwestern’s multidisciplinary Preventive Cardiology Program offers specialized expertise and a comprehensive range of services proven to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and related complications.

Comprising experienced doctors, nurses, a nutritionist, and an exercise physiologist, our team is a recognized leader in preventing heart disease in both straightforward and highly complex cases, such as in young patients who have suffered a heart attack.

We first evaluate each patient’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease – or risk of suffering a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke – and examine hereditary factors and other conditions that can affect patients’ future health.

We then develop patient-specific medical plans to aggressively reduce the risk factors for each individual.

We also serve as expert resources for patients who want to know more about test results, research studies, new treatments, and other heart-related information they hear about.

Who Should See a Preventive Cardiologist?

People most likely to benefit from seeing our preventive cardiology team include those with:

  • A strong family history of heart attack, stroke, or peripheral artery disease
  • A personal history of cardiovascular disease, especially in people younger than 60
  • Difficult-to-control risk factors for atherosclerosis, particularly significant cholesterol disorders
  • Controllable risk factors, such as:
    - High blood pressure
    - High blood sugar or diabetes
    - Obesity, especially with excess abdominal fat
    - Smoking
    - Unhealthy diet
    - Lack of exercise/sedentary lifestyle

  • Uncontrollable risk factors, such as:
    - Gender: Men are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease than women.
    - Age: Older people, including postmenopausal women, are more likely to have heart disease.
    - Race and ethnicity: Heart disease is more prevalent among African-Americans than among Caucasians.
    - Family history of cardiovascular disease

Preventive Cardiology Services We Offer

UT Southwestern’s multidisciplinary Preventive Cardiology team delivers skilled, compassionate care that’s informed by the most current research. Our services include:

Comprehensive Cardiovascular Risk Assessment

Our preventive cardiologists determine the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with no known heart disease. We have special expertise in evaluating people with complex circumstances, including young people, those with atypical risk factors, and those with a strong family history of cardiovascular disease.

Our team determines a person’s cardiovascular risk by assessing:

  • Traditional risk factors, such as cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Lifestyle factors
  • A detailed family history of heart disease
  • Imaging tests of the heart and blood vessels
  • Advanced blood tests, such as C-reactive protein and advanced lipoprotein testing, as necessary

Multidisciplinary Risk Intervention

Our multidisciplinary team members work together to develop personalized medical plans aimed at addressing each of our patients’ unique cardiovascular risk factors.

To help patients reduce their risks and achieve heart-healthy lifestyles, our preventive cardiology experts work closely with them to provide counseling, support, and regular monitoring.

When necessary, our doctors prescribe medications to mitigate heart disease risk factors.

Cholesterol Management

Our preventive cardiologists and clinical nutritionist evaluate all patients with cholesterol problems and make dietary recommendations as needed. Our nurse practitioner follows these patients closely.

Our cholesterol management program includes:

  • Expertise in complex and severe cholesterol disorders
  • Board-certified specialists in cholesterol and other lipid disorders (lipidologists)
  • Genetic testing when appropriate
  • LDL apheresis for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia, a rare genetic cholesterol disorder

Advanced Cardiac Imaging

When appropriate, we offer patients advanced cardiac imaging tests, such as coronary artery calcium scoring and CT angiography.

These state-of- the-art studies help our team dig deeper when evaluating patients suspected of having issues that could compromise their cardiovascular health.

Nutrition Services

Our registered dietitian is an expert in the factors that impact preventive heart health, such as abnormal cholesterol levels, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Our clinical nutrition services include:

  • Nutritional consultations
  • Computerized food-record analyses
  • Diabetes education and nutrition counseling
  • Heart-healthy eating plans
  • Weight-loss instructions

Cardiac Rehabilitation

UT Southwestern’s 12- to 18-week Cardiac Rehabilitation Program includes supervised exercise and in-depth education. The goal of the program is to reduce the risk of future cardiovascular problems and events in patients who have recently had heart attacks, heart surgery, coronary artery stenting, angina, or other cardiac conditions.

Ongoing Care to Prevent Heart Disease

When it comes to heading off cardiovascular disease for the long haul – particularly in people at increased risk – “drive-by prevention” isn’t enough.

When patients first come to us, they have a comprehensive visit with one of our preventive cardiologists, a nutritionist, and an exercise physiologist. During that visit, we get to know each other, identify any concerns, decide if any testing is appropriate, and develop a personalized plan.

Patients typically come back to see us in about two months. It’s important that we follow up with patients to check on and reinforce their new lifestyle changes, ask and answer new questions, and, if necessary, refine their plans.

We’ll often see patients again in four months to check in, offer support, and alter their plans as needed. Our care continues according to each patient’s risk and need.

Meet our preventive cardiology specialists

UT Southwestern's Preventive Cardiology team is comprised of clinicians, researchers, nutrition experts and physician assistants. This diverse practice takes care of patients while producing research that benefits from their clinical intersections. Together, they guide patients towards understanding, addressing and mitigating risks for cardiovascular disease. The group also helps patients diagnose and manage complex conditions like familial hypercholesterolemia and other generic lipid disorders.

Meet Dr. Amit Khera

Amit Khera, M.D., is the Immediate Past President of the American Society of Preventive Cardiologists and the Director of UT Southwestern’s Preventive Cardiology Program. He specializes in cardiac risk assessment and risk factor modifications. Dr. Khera is President of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology.

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Meet Dr. Anand Rohatgi

Anand Rohatgi, M.D., M.S.C.S., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., serves as Director of both echocardiography course education and internal medicine’s cardiology didactic curriculum. He is also a member of Internal Medicine’s Committee to Evaluate Clinical Competence. He is an active CME speaker and has given several invited national talks.

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Meet Dr. Ann Marie Navar

Ann Marie Navar, M.D., Ph.D., specializes in preventive cardiology. Dr. Navar earned her medical degree at Duke University and her Ph.D. in global disease epidemiology and control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Navar’s research interests include cardiovascular disease prevention and epidemiology, mining real-world data including information available in electronic health records, and risk prediction and communication.

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Meet Dr. Parag Joshi

Parag H. Joshi, M.D., specializes in heart disease and preventive cardiology, including abnormal cholesterol, family history of heart disease, and early atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. In addition, Dr. Joshi serves as the program director of UT Southwestern's Cardiology Clinical Conference and Grand Rounds and oversees the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

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Meet Susan Rodder, M.S.

Susan G. Rodder, M.S., specializes in the nutrition impact on the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease; patient-centered application of practical dietary recommendations; and technology approaches for the sustainability of dietary recommendations. A registered dietitian in the Preventive Cardiology Program, she serves as course director for rotations in nutrition care and medical nutrition therapy chronic care at UT Southwestern.

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Meet Ruth Schneider, M.S.N.

Ruth Schneider, M.S.N., APRN, ANP-BC, is an advanced practice provider in the preventive cardiology clinic. She is skilled in taking care of all types of patients.

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Clinical Trials

As one of the nation’s top academic medical centers, UT Southwestern offers a number of clinical trials aimed at improving the outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease.

Clinical trials often give patients access to leading-edge treatments that are not yet widely available. Eligible patients who choose to participate in one of UT Southwestern’s clinical trials might receive treatments years before they are available to the public.

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Search for opportunities to participate in a heart or vascular research study.

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