Heart Disease Diagnosis and Prevention


O’Connor Hospital offers a broad range of diagnostic tests to accurately diagnose cardiovascular conditions:

  • X-ray and MRI
  • Electrocardiography (EKG)Heart_Disease_Prevention_web
  • Echocardiogram and stress echocardiogram
  • Exercise treadmill EKG stress testing
  • Diagnostic cardiac catheterizations
  • Thallium stress test
  • Electrophysiology studies


Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States for both men and women. Although the damage done by heart disease can’t always be reversed, patients can take steps to keep the disease from getting worse. To reduce the risk of heart disease:

Don’t smoke: Smoking is the single largest risk factor for the heart that can be controlled. For those who can’t stop smoking on their own, get help from a health care provider, or enroll in a smoking cessation course.

Control your blood pressure: Blood pressure is an indication of the fitness level of blood vessels. The lower the numbers, the more fit blood vessels are.  For tips on lowering blood pressure, visit the American Heart Association’s website.

Manage your cholesterol: Cholesterol readings are given for three measures: high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides. HDL cholesterol is the “good cholesterol,” while LDL cholesterol is the “bad cholesterol.” If total cholesterol level is higher than 200 mg/dl, the patient is considered to be at high risk for heart disease; a reading of 180 mg/dl or less is considered desirable.  Visit the American Heart Association’s website for tips on managing cholesterol.

Exercise: Exercise affects every other risk factor for heart disease except smoking. Regular exercise strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure, helps burn more calories and increases circulation.

Medications: Medication is usually prescribed to reduce the potential for blood clots and to minimize your symptoms of heart disease.  Visit the American Heart Association’s website for tips on managing medications.

Rehabilitation and Support Services

O’Connor Hospital offers comprehensive cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs where the patient partners with physicians, nurses, exercise physiologists, respiratory therapists and others in his or her care. The emphasis of both programs is on providing a supportive environment to lower the risk of future problems. Physical conditioning, nutritional counseling and stress reduction are all central to the rehabilitation program. For more information on either program, call (408) 947-2994 or Cardiopulmonary Manager Marianne Broedlow, RRT at (408) 947-2795.

Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Support Group
O’Connor sponsors an innovative implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) support group for our patients. Open to all persons with defibrillators and their family members, the ICD support group is held the third Wednesday of every other month from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. at O’Connor Hospital’s, Rosalie Rendu Room. Please email Sonia Blazensky, RN, or call at (408) 947-2994 for more information.