Rasmussen Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

An estimated one in four persons who dies from cardiovascular-related diseases experiences no advance warning symptoms. At the Rasmussen Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, we’re committed changing that by raising awareness and preventing heart disease.

Anticipating and managing heart and artery disease
We’re the first clinic in the U.S. to offer a comprehensive approach to identify conditions that often go undetected, but which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, heart- and kidney failure.

By focusing on screening healthy individuals who may have risk factors such as family history, hypertension and smoking, we can deliver benefits, including getting people to:

  • Take preventive measures
  • Adopt healthier lifestyles
  • Take prescribed medications

These steps may decrease the risk of developing severe coronary or other vascular and cardiac disease.

The latest testing to detect potential problems
Affiliated with the world-renowned Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, the Rasmussen Center offers a unique array of the latest, non-invasive diagnostic screening tools in detecting cardiovascular disease. These tests can detect blood vessel and heart abnormalities that do not necessarily cause symptoms.

What is involved with a screening?

A complete screening takes about two hours and involves no radiation. Other than blood sampling, the procedures are noninvasive and painless. Appointments for couples and individuals are available.

As part of the early disease assessment, a nurse practitioner reviews your family history, past medical history, health habits and nutrition. The cardiovascular physical exam focuses on the heart, lungs and circulation.

We take a blood sample to measure your:

  • Total cholesterol: LDL, HDL, triglycerides
  • Blood sugar
  • C-reactive protein

Diagnostic tests we may perform include:

  • Ultrasound measurement of neck artery thickness (carotid IMT)
  • Urinalysis for early evidence of blood vessel abnormalities
  • Blood pressure response to treadmill stress test
  • Lung function test
  • Digital photograph of the small arteries in the eye
  • Arterial pulse contour analysis
  • Special blood test (natriuretic peptide) to detect heart stress
  • Ultrasound of the left ventricle (lower left heart chamber) and aorta (large abdominal blood vessel)
  • Electrocardiogram

You will receive a written report of test results and recommendations developed by the care prevention team, which includes a cardiologist. Recommendations may include dietary, lifestyle or medication advice. Upon your request, the screening report can be provided to your primary care physician.

What has been learned at the Rasmussen Center?

Here’s what we have found over years of testing hundreds of individuals:

  • Historically, 50 percent of individuals screened are free of early cardiovascular disease abnormalities. For them, we recommend re-screening at five-year intervals.
  • Approximately 20 percent receive recommendations for lifestyle changes and recommendations for re-screening within one to three years.
  • The other 30 percent receive recommendations for follow-up care, including medications to slow or halt progression of early disease.

The University of Minnesota is recognized as a leader in cardiovascular medicine. The Rasmussen Center represents the latest effort in this long tradition of helping people live longer, healthier lives through preventive care management.