Preventive Cardiology and Atherosclerosis

The preventive cardiology and atherosclerosis program is integrated with the world-class Lipid Clinic at USC, where patients with hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol levels) and other lipid disorders are treated. The program provides primary screenings for patients without known heart disease to determine if significant risk factors for atherosclerosis are present. Patients are offered the opportunity to enter into a continual monitoring program that involves lipid lowering, control of hypertension, cigarette smoking cessation, exercise training, and counseling. The center uses a unique atherosclerosis measurement developed by the USC Atherosclerosis Research Unit. This non-invasive technique involves measuring the thickness of the carotid artery with B-mode ultrasound and has been found to be very sensitive to changes in the degree of atherosclerosis. Using this method, along with careful dietary monitoring, significant regression has been documented in USC research studies.