If a person has symptoms of a heart condition, their physician may refer them to a cardiologist.
Symptoms that can indicate a heart problem include:
- shortness of breath
- chest pains
- changes in heart rate or rhythm
- high blood pressure
A cardiologist can carry out tests for a heart murmur or an abnormal heart rhythm.
They often treat patients who have had a heart attack, heart failure, or other heart problems. They help make decisions about heart surgery, heart catheterization, and angioplasty and stenting.
Heart diseases that a cardiologist can help with include:
- atrial fibrillation
- congenital heart disease
- coronary heart disease
- congestive heart disease
- high blood cholesterol and triglycerides
- ventricular tachycardia
- high blood pressure, or hypertension
The cardiologist can give advice about preventing heart disease.
A person may need to see a cardiologist even without symptoms, if they have a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol, if they are or have been a smoker, if they have diabetes, or if they are starting a new exercise program.
A woman who has had pre-eclampsia may be at higher risk of heart problems in a later pregnancy or during the menopause.