Preventive Cardiology Clinic Opens at American Family Children's Hospital
Few parents think about their children having a heart attack or stroke. Unfortunately, the causes of heart disease in adulthood begin during childhood.
Accordingly, American Family Children's Hospital has launched a new Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic to screen and treat children and teens at risk of heart disease. Led by pediatric cardiologist Amy Peterson, MD, and Ann Dodge, PNP, the new clinic will partner with primary care providers to assist pediatric patients and their families in understanding and managing the cardiovascular risks associated with hyperlipidemia, hypertension and obesity.
"Cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol, hypertension and overweight, often occur in children with these genetic tendencies," Dr. Peterson says. "We know that adult heart disease establishes its roots during childhood. Fortunately, we now have a better understanding and tools available to help these children reduce their chances of having heart disease later in life. We will work closely with the Pediatric Fitness Clinic and Pediatric Nutrition to ensure that patients receive not only the appropriate medications, but also the expert guidance to help change their lifestyles."
Dr. Peterson suggests that children be considered for referral to the Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic if any of the following criteria are met:
- Documented dyslipidemia on a fasting panel. This includes any of the following:
- HDL less than 45 mg/dL
- LDL greater than 110 mg/dL
- Total cholesterol greater than 170 mg/dL
- Triglycerides greater than 150 mg/dL
- The child uses tobacco
- The child has other cardiovascular risk factors that are concerning to parents or health care providers.
Certain medical conditions or family histories place children at higher risk for early heart disease. Patients with any of the following conditions should be screened for dyslipidemias:
- Family history of early cardiovascular events (younger than 55 years old in male relatives and younger than 65 years old in female relatives)
- Family history of dyslipidemia
- Patient history of hypertension, tobacco use, diabetes or obesity
- Patient history of kidney disease, cancer, rheumatologic disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, congenital heart disease or Kawasaki disease
Families can expect the following during a child's first visit to the Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic:
- Assessment of cardiovascular risk
- Medical treatment and lifestyle counseling from our nurse practitioners
- Dietary assessment and counseling from UW Health nutritionists
- An echocardiogram and ECG may be performed
- At the time of visit, the patient may be referred for further evaluation at the UW Health Pediatric Fitness Clinic and other clinics as appropriate
Appointments in the Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic can be scheduled by calling (608) 263-6420.