Prevention for Patients and Families

Nolan Family Center for Cardiovascular Health

Heart Disease Prevention Video Series

Assessing my Risk of Heart Disease

Should I Take an Aspirin to Prevent Heart Disease?

What Do I Need to Know About Managing Cholesterol? Part 1

What Do I Need to Know About Managing Cholesterol? Part 2 

Should I Take a Fish Oil Supplement for Heart Health?

Preventing Heart and Vascular Disease

Great news! A healthy lifestyle can significantly decrease your risk for heart disease by up to 80 percent. You can prevent many types of heart disease by taking action and making healthy lifestyle choices. 

Steps for taking care of your heart

Calculate your risk

Calculate your risk for heart disease using this online resource or ask your primary care provider to calculate your risk.

Let your physician know about other factors that increase your risk:

  • Family history of early heart disease (males age <55; females age <65)
  • Primary hypercholesterolemia (very high cholesterol – LDL (bad) cholesterol >160 mg/dl)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions (e.g., psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or HIV/AIDS)
  • High-risk race/ethnicity (e.g., South Asian ancestry)
  • History of premature menopause (age <40)
  • History of pregnancy conditions (e.g., preeclampsia) that increase your risk for later heart disease.

Reduce your risk

There are several lifestyle modifications you can make to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease! Check out the infographic on this web page and discuss your risk factors with your primary care physician.

Take our Color Your Plate Challenge and enjoy at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day!

Talk to a preventive cardiologist if you are at high risk

If you are at high risk for heart disease, consider a visit to a preventive cardiologist.

 Preventive cardiology services include:

  • A comprehensive cardiovascular examination and evaluation of cardiac risk factors
  • Advanced blood tests with results provided during your appointment
  • Lipid management, including statin intolerance
  • Nutrition assessment and recommendations
  • Cardiac imaging (HeartScan) – access to a special scan that can detect deposits in the heart’s arteries before symptoms are present
  • Opportunity for participation in clinical trials of new therapies

How is MHIF advancing prevention research to benefit patients?

MHIF has a long history of groundbreaking research and education across a wide spectrum of prevention-related topics, including coronary artery calcium testing, blood pressure, cholesterol and statin use, nutrition and lifestyle behaviors, risk factors and screening for specific populations, premature heart disease and congenital heart disorders. MHIF researchers also led Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project, a 10-year transformative population health research project in rural New Ulm, Minnesota, that resulted in significant improvements for heart disease risk factors in the community. Learn more about the project here.

Could I benefit from participating in a clinical research study?

Every year, exciting breakthroughs and discoveries stem from our research. These important findings advance medical knowledge, improving the health and lives of millions of people worldwide. By participating in research, you:

  • Take a more active role in your own health care.
  • May gain access to investigational treatments and medications.
  • Help find new and better ways to treat people with your condition.

Every research study comes with its own unique risks and benefits; the study team will ensure you’re provided with all the information you need to decide if participating is right for you.

Learn more about our research studies.

Real Patient Stories

 Meet some of the patients who have participated in research related to prevention and managing risk factors


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Any gift, small or large, advances transformative research to save lives.

Give the Gift of Hope
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The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) strives to create a world without heart and vascular disease. To achieve this bold vision, we are dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education.

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, we can continue this life-saving work. Please make a gift to support the area of greatest need.

Research Milestone: FDA approves device used as alternative to open-heart

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Triclip team

We are honored to celebrate the culmination of years of research that has resulted in new technologies for patients! In the few last weeks, we announced a similar research milestone with the FDA approval of the TriClip system for tricuspid regurgitation. We celebrated this important milestone with local media KSTP-TV, who spotlighted the importance of this new technology. We were proud to be a leading clinical site led by Global PI Dr. Paul Sorajja and the MHIF research team who contributed significant data to the pivotal trial.