Advanced Prevention and Screening

An Ounce of Prevention Equals a Pound of Cure

At Saint Joseph's Heart and Vascular Institute, we provide the highest quality care for the treatment of heart and vascular disease. However, we believe one of the most powerful ways for you to maintain good health is through preventing the development of heart disease in the first place!

In our Preventive Cardiology Program, we use the latest screening techniques, including advanced imaging, diagnostic laboratory tests, and genetic analysis, to determine your risk for cardiovascular disease. We then develop a prevention program that is tailored specifically to your unique needs. No other prevention program in Atlanta offers this individualized approach.

Every person who comes through our doors is unique and has his or her own history, risk factors, and experiences. We understand that no two people are the same, and what may have therapeutic potential for one person may not for another. We designed our prevention program to identify those differences and to tailor our approach based on you. Although all prevention programs follow standard national treatment guidelines, our program develops guidelines that are highly personalized to your specific needs. And we go above and beyond the standard of care by offering a vast array of information and educational tools so you can take steps today to safeguard your long-term cardiovascular health.

At our Preventive Cardiology Program, we value education highly, and our approach is collaborative and family centered. We work with you and your family so you are armed with all the necessary information about living a heart-healthy lifestyle. We also coach you on what to do should you experience symptoms suggestive of a heart attack such as chest pain. You and your family will have continual access to a Clinical Educator designated just for you and your situation.


Basic Cardiac Check

This screening includes total cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, weight, BMI and consultation with a health-care professional.

Cost $30

Intermediate Cardiac Check

Includes total cholesterol, HDL - good cholesterol, LDL -bad cholesterol, HDL ratio, triglycerides, blood pressure, weight, BMI and consultation with a health-care professional.

Cost $50

Comprehensive Cardiac Check

This includes a 3-lead EKG, carotid artery evaluation, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, TC/HDL ratio, triglycerides, glucose, blood glucose, blood pressure, weight, BMI, and consultation with a health-care professional.

Cost $80

Blood Flow Assessment

This screening is designed to assess the arterial blood flow in the legs. People with peripheral vascular disease (PVD) have a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. The results are immediate and include a consultation with a health-care professional.

Cost $20

For more information about and/or to register for a Cardiac Check or Blood Flow Assessment, please call (678) 843-7633.

Cardiovascular Risk Modification Educational Classes:

  • Weight loss program
  • Smoking cessation
  • Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood pressure

For more information about our Risk Modification Educational Classes, please contact Cecile Upchurch, RN, at (678) 843-7633, or via e-mail at

CT Angiogram (CTA)

This is similar to a cardiac catheterization. Usually for people with symptoms of heart disease, the CTA requires a physician order and includes the use of contrast to show abnormalities in the heart vessels. Results available within three to four days. For more information, please call (678) 843-6100. Contact your insurance provider to see if coverage is available.

Cost: $875

Cardiac Calcium Scoring

This screening shows calcified plaques in vessels of the heart, which often are an early indicator of heart disease. This screening requires a physician order and is not covered by insurance. Please call (678) 843-6100 for more.

Cost: $100

Advanced Imaging Tests

We use a wide variety of imaging techniques, including computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well as screening tools such as calcium scoring and carotid intimal thickening (CIMT) which go beyond standard measures. Calcium scoring is a test that measures calcium buildup in your arteries. This is a very accurate marker for coronary artery disease that enables us to determine the amount of plaque in your coronary arteries long before clinical problems arise. Another test, which measures the thickness of your carotid artery walls (called the carotid intimal medial thickness,) is also helpful in assessing your cardiovascular health and does not involve any exposure to X-rays. Most of these tests take only 15 minutes and require no advance preparation.

Cholesterol: Beyond Good and Bad

We believe strongly in the merits of advanced lipid testing, a comprehensive assessment of the fats and biomarkers in your blood, which are much more precise at identifying your risk of cardiovascular disease than standard cholesterol measurements alone. Typically covered by most insurance plans as well as Medicare, these tests allow us to perform an extremely sophisticated analysis of more than 20 different components of your blood, the results of which provide a wealth of important information that will help you make significant lifestyle and treatment decisions -- and prevent future problems before they start.

All results are made available to your primary care physician or cardiologist who maintain their control of your treatment plan.

Finding Clues in Your Genes

We also offer genetic screening and counseling in our Preventive Cardiology Program. Genetic research is enabling scientists to discover very subtle differences between people. This allows us to discover discreet differences between you and others with similar cardiovascular risk profiles and to provide you with the most individualized recommendations possible.

For example, the KIF6 gene tells us if you are genetically at increased risk for heart disease and, if so, whether you will actually respond to certain kinds of medication. Likewise, the LPA gene also predicts increased cardiac risk and whether or not you will benefit from taking a daily aspirin. Many people do not benefit from aspirin and taking it on a daily basis merely predisposes them to increased risk of gastric bleeding. The 9p21 gene predicts who is at risk for a preventable heart attack while the ApoE gene tells us who actually responds to a strict low fat diet and who doesn't need to be so strict with their diet. And there are many more.

Genetic screening techniques are advancing rapidly and enable us to provide a truly unique and individual treatment protocol for each of our patients.

Personalized Lifestyle Guidance

After your comprehensive tests have been analyzed we will sit down with you and review the results in detail. Our team of clinical educators will then devise a preventive protocol that is unique and specific to you. Thereafter, a series of classes and one-on-one consultations will help guide you along the way, all in conjunction with your own primary care physician or cardiologist.

If you have questions, or would like to schedule a screening, please call us at (678) 843-7633.

Contact Us

Preventive Cardiology
5673 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd NE, Suite 490
Atlanta, GA 30342
(678) 843-7633