Gain control of your heart health

Dr. Charlotte Bai, a noted cardiologist with special expertise in cardiac imaging, has a special message for people with risk factors for heart disease: What you don’t know can hurt you. “February is National Heart Month. And now is a great time to gain control of your heart health,” said Bai, assistant professor, cardiology, Department of Medicine, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine.

“For some, gaining control may mean quitting smoking or exercising more. For others, it may mean finding ways to control cholesterol or blood pressure. The important thing is to be aware of what risks are and what your goal is. Your doctor should be working with you to reach that goal with a treatment plan that works,” Bai added.

Diagnosing heart disease has become simpler thanks to advanced imaging technologies that provide clear answers about where problems may lie. Dr. Bai has led research on using cardiac imaging for assessing the causes of chest pain, and on ways to enhance the diagnostic capability of various imaging methods. She has special expertise in echocardiography, multi-detector computed tomography (CT) and nuclear cardiology.

“I want to use my interest in imaging to study the development of cardiac diseases in a less-invasive way,” said Bai. “There is a good chance that cardiac imaging may replace some of the more invasive methods of imaging the heart,” she said.

As adults age, risk factors may change, explained Bai. That’s why it’s important to work with a cardiologist to stay in control of your health. “Some people believe that they can rely on the results of the heart screening they had five years ago. Unfortunately, they can’t. Your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels may change dramatically from year to year. To stay on top of things, stay in touch with your doctor,” Bai added.

Before coming to Loyola, Bai was on staff at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, where she completed her residency and a cardiovascular fellowship. She also completed a cardiovascular fellowship at UCLA-Olive View Medical Center, which involved two hospitals: Olive View Medical Center and West LA Veterans Hospital.

Bai received her medical degree from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in 2001. She holds certifications in nuclear cardiology and in echocardiography. She has special training in cardiac computed tomography (CT) and is a diplomate in internal medicine.

She holds numerous professional memberships and has led several studies on heart imaging and is looking forward to future imaging studies at Loyola.

Bai cares for patients at the Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine at the Loyola University Medical Center campus in Maywood. In February, Bai will begin seeing patients at the new Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine in Park Ridge, 1030 W. Higgins Road (just west of Cumberland), Park Ridge. To schedule an appointment with a Loyola physician, phone 1-888-LUHS-888.

Source: Loyola University Health System, USA

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