Remarkable transformations in science and healthcare have resulted in declines in mortality from cardiovascular disease over the past several decades, largely driven by progress in prevention and treatment of persons at risk. However, these trends are now beginning to stall, as our county faces increases in cardiovascular risk factors including overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, poor long-term adherence to a healthy lifestyle and lifesaving pharmacotherapy have exacerbated these trends, with recent data suggesting unprecedented increases in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. A paradigm shift is needed to improve the cardiovascular health of our nation. Preventive cardiology, a growing subspecialty of cardiovascular medicine, is the practice of primordial, primary, and secondary prevention of all cardiovascular diseases. Preventive cardiologists and preventive cardiology specialists are well equipped with the knowledge and skill-set necessary to reduce deaths related to the growing burden of heart disease and its risk factors. Despite dedicated efforts, cardiovascular disease remains the leading killer of men and women in the United States. Although there is little debate regarding the importance of prevention, many healthcare professionals question the need for preventive cardiology as a distinct subspecialty. Additionally, the field’s growth has been hampered by a lack of organization and standardization, and variability of training within programs across the country. The purpose of this document is to delineate the key attributes that define the field of preventive cardiology according to the American Society for Preventive Cardiology.
© 2022 The Authors.