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Heart Health

Cardiology specialists: When you need extra expertise

March 1, 2020

Primary care providers can help people manage their blood pressure and cholesterol. But those with additional risks for heart disease should consider consulting a cardiologist.

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Seeing a cardiologist is standard practice after you've experienced a heart attack or other serious heart problem. But in certain situations, you may want to consult a physician who specializes in managing heart disease even if you haven't had a heart-related scare.

"We encourage people with a family history of premature heart disease or who have many risk factors for heart disease to consider an evaluation by a cardiologist," explains cardiologist Dr. Michelle O'Donoghue, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. A premature heart attack is one that occurs before age 55 in a man or before age 65 in a woman. If you have a parent or sibling who falls into that category, make sure your primary care provider knows, as your odds of heart disease are higher than average.

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