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Cardio Health Healthline

What is Cardiology?

Cardiology is the study and treatment of disorders of the heart and the blood vessels. A person with heart disease or cardiovascular disease may be referred to a cardiologist.
Cardiology is a branch of internal medicine. A cardiologist is not the same as a cardiac surgeon. A cardiac surgeon opens the chest and performs heart surgery.
A cardiologist specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the cardiovascular system. The cardiologist will carry out tests, and they may perform some procedures, such as heart catheterizations, angioplasty, or inserting a pacemaker.
Heart disease relates specifically to the heart, while cardiovascular disease affects the heart, the blood vessels, or both.
To become a cardiologist in the United States, it is necessary to complete 4 years of medical school, 3 years of training in internal medicine, and at least 3 years specializing in cardiology.

When would I need a cardiologist?

If a person has symptoms of a heart condition, their physician may refer them to a cardiologist.
Symptoms that can indicate a heart problem include:
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • chest pains
  • changes in heart rate or rhythm
  • high blood pressure
A cardiologist can carry out tests for a heart murmur or an abnormal heart rhythm.
They often treat patients who have had a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problems. They help make decisions about heart surgery, heart catheterization, and angioplasty and stenting.

Heart diseases that a cardiologist can help with include:

The cardiologist can give advice about preventing heart disease.
A person may need to see a cardiologist even without symptoms, if they have a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol, if they are or have been a smoker, if they have diabetes, or if they are starting a new exercise program.
A woman who has had pre-eclampsia may be at higher risk of heart problems in a later pregnancy or during the menopause.

What does cardiology involve?

A cardiologist will review a patient’s medical history and carry out a physical examination.
They may check the person’s weight, heart, lungs, blood pressure, and blood vessels, and carry out some tests.
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