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Decrease Your Risk of Heart Disease this February – Tips from Cardiologist and ‘Top Doctor’ Michael Cho, MD


February is Heart Month and it gives us an opportunity to address heart disease and how to prevent it.  This is especially important as heart disease remains the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. 

There are many forms of cardiovascular disease including coronary artery disease, involving blockages in your hearts arteries, heart failure which leads to fluid retention, and arrhythmias or disturbances in your heart rhythm.  Although most of our work as Cardiologists involves the diagnosis and treatment of these various forms of heart disease, our most important job is counseling  patients on how to prevent a cardiovascular event. 

The most common steps   to decrease your risk of heart disease include smoking cessation, weight reduction, regular exercise, and a low fat, low cholesterol diet.  However, the American Society for Preventive Cardiology has recently launched the Steps4prevention campaign to encourage patients to identify other preventable risk factors.  These steps include:

                                       1) Checking your blood pressure

                                       2) Checking your blood glucose level

                                       3) Completing a full lipid panel

                                       4) Checking if you have atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythm)

These checks involve simple blood tests and a physical exam which can be performed by your Primary Care Provider.  Early control of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and atrial fibrillation can substantially reduce the risk of cardiovascular events including heart attack and stroke. 

We, as cardiologists, have other tools to further predict someone’s cardiovascular risk but the above methods are a great start!  So, please go schedule that annual physical if you have not done so already. 


Michael N. Cho, MD, a Cardiologist at Crystal Run Healthcare, was recognized by Castle Connolly as a Top Doctor in 2018. He earned his Medical Degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, TX. Dr. Cho completed Fellowship-training in Cardiology at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Echocardiography, Cardiovascular Disease, and Nuclear Cardiology. He sees patients in Middletown, Newburgh, and Rock Hill.