Ask An Expert: CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute

David Griffin, MD


Does heart disease begin when you are older?

No. This is a common misconception that the need to combat heart disease doesn’t begin until an older age. It’s never too early to implement healthy lifestyle changes. Making small changes now, like walking more or eating healthier, can help you reduce your chances of heart disease later in life.


What are common risks for heart disease?

Common risk factors for heart disease include diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Without a commitment to a heart-healthy diet, a person’s risk factors will continue to grow which increases the likelihood of coronary artery disease, heart attack or heart failure. Stopping the use of tobacco is one of the most effective lifestyle changes to improve heart health and reduce the risk of developing a number of different heart conditions.


Is there a way to see where my heart health stands now?

The new HeartSmart program at the CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute offers a comprehensive series of heart screenings to ensure your heart health is where it needs to be — and it only takes about 30 minutes to complete. The best thing is, you only have to remove your shoes during the screening process. Learn more about the HeartSmart screening program at