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Healthcare Insights

Top 10 diagnoses by cardiologists

Cardiologists are healthcare professionals who specialize in the cardiovascular system (the heart and blood vessels). The cardiovascular system regulates and delivers oxygen and nutrients to your body’s vital organs. Cardiologists are doctors who have extra education and training in preventing, diagnosing and treating heart conditions. They are experts on the heart muscle  itself and the arteries and veins that carry blood.

We used data from the Definitive Healthcare ClaimsMx product to track patient visits to cardiologists. The following table shows the most frequent primary diagnoses for patients seen by cardiologists in 2021.

Top 10 diagnoses for cardiology visits

Rank ICD-10 code ICD-10 description % of Total diagnoses in 2021 Explore dataset
I10 Essential (primary) hypertension 8.00% Explore
I2510 Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery without angina pectoris 4.40% Explore
E785 Hyperlipidemia, unspecified 3.20% Explore
R9431 Abnormal electrocardiogram [ECG] [EKG] 2.60% Explore
I480 Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation 2.40% Explore
R079 Chest pain, unspecified 2.20% Explore
R0602 Shortness of breath 2.10% Explore
R002 Palpitations 1.90% Explore
E782 Mixed hyperlipidemia 1.70% Explore
10 I4891 Unspecified atrial fibrillation 1.60% Explore

Fig. 1 Data is from Definitive Healthcare’s ClaimsMx product. Data is accurate as of November 2022.

What are the most common conditions for cardiologist visits?

ICD-10 code I10, essential hypertension, was the most frequent diagnosis behind cardiology visits. This condition made up 8% of patient encounters with cardiologists in 2021, and occurs when a patient has abnormally high blood pressure that is not the result of a medical condition. High blood pressure can occur in almost anyone for a variety of reasons, which could explain why it is such a common diagnosis.

The second most common diagnosis on cardiologist claims is IDC-10 code I2510, or atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery without angina pectoris. Accounting for 4.4% of all patient encounters with cardiologists, this condition occurs when the patient’s blood vessels narrow throughout the body but does not result in any chest pain or discomfort.

The third most frequent reason patients visits to cardiologist is for hyperlipidemia (unspecified) (IDC-10 code E785). This condition accounted for 3.2% of all patient encounters with cardiologists and happens when your blood has too many lipids (fats). These fats can include cholesterol and triglycerides; however, in this case, the term unspecified means that the specific fat is undetermined.

Why is cardiology important to healthcare?

Cardiology is an essential part of healthcare because it provides patients with specialized, high-quality care for issues related to the heart and blood vessels. In many cases, cardiology can help identify and treat conditions that would otherwise be debilitating or life-limiting, leading to a longer and better quality of life. In addition, cardiology can help patients with a family history of cardiovascular disease manage and prevent illness.

Learn more

Healthcare Insights are developed with healthcare commercial intelligence from the Definitive Healthcare platform. Want even more insights? Start a free trial now and get access to the latest healthcare commercial intelligence on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare providers.