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What is Cardiology?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Cardiology is the study of cardiovascular illness, the care of all things related to the heart. It is a specialization amongst physicians. Cardiology also includes arteries and it used to diagnose and treat conditions like blockages. Cardiologists should not be confused with cardiac surgeons. Cardiac surgeons go into the chest and perform heart surgeries, while cardiologists perform tests and procedures like angioplasty.

Cardiology is the discipline that researches, diagnoses and treats heart injuries and diseases as well as their causes. A cardiologist will treat your heart problem while staying aware of other conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other factors that risk damaging the heart. Some of these risk factors include a family history of heart disease, obesity, cigarette smoking, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.

Since cardiology is a specialized field of medicine, you should not necessarily rely on your regular healthcare provider to care for your heart. In fact, he or she may well be able to deal with minor problems, but will usually refer you to a specialist if the symptoms appear to be serious. In other instances, your physician may simply consult with a cardiology specialist in order to determine the best course of action for your healthcare. A specialist can inform your doctor about new drugs or tests that may be beneficial to you, or he or she may request an EKG or blood tests and study the results.

An EKG, which stands for electrocardiogram, records electrical impulses in your heart. In cardiology, the EKG is a frequently used tool to establish whether a patient has already experienced a heart attack or whether he may be in imminent danger of having one. This information can help both your primary physician and your cardiologist decide which treatments will be most advantageous in your ongoing care.

Cardiology teaches us that time is the enemy in the case of a heart attack, so if you or someone else in your home suffers from heart disease, purchasing a home defibrillator may be a wise decision. A home defibrillator is much like machines used in hospitals to "jump start" patients' hearts. Consult with your doctor or cardiology specialist to see if this is a good option for you.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By sherlock87 — On Apr 21, 2011

I did not realize that you could buy home defibrillators. While neither of my parents has heart disease, they do both suffer from high blood pressure, and at least one of my parents has high cholesterol. I wonder if this would be a good idea for them to have at home.

By sapphire12 — On Apr 18, 2011

Within cardiology, there are a lot of other different types of work- people who specialize in pediatric cardiology, or children's heart care, as well as people who specialize in heart transplants or different forms of treatment. There are many different options for jobs in cardiology.

By anon39828 — On Aug 04, 2009

this was so inspiring. i'm only 12 and now i know a lot and i'm so glad. thanks for some tips.

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