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The Rise of Interventional Cardiology

Interventional cardiology is a sub-branch of the overarching cardiology umbrella that specifically involves catheter-based treatments. It requires an additional year of training beyond what is typically required for general cardiology due to the extremely precise nature of the procedures–even longer if the student wishes to pursue pediatric interventional cardiology. The field is quite new. The first balloon angioplasty was performed only in 1977. However, despite its relatively recent advent, it has had a tremendous impact on cardiology as a whole. Traditionally, the different specialties of cardiology were seen as separate and distinct focuses. But, the techniques that early interventional cardiologists initially mastered in smaller vessels began being applied to larger ones, especially when new technology coincided with the development of interventional cardiology. As a result, it bridged many cardiac specialty areas. 

Today, interventional cardiology is on the rise. Globally, the interventional cardiology devices market was predicted to expand with a CAGR of 2.9 percent by 2022, and achieve a value of $11.16 billion by that date. Interventional cardiology devices are in such high demand due to a few key factors. First, our population is aging. An increasing number of Americans are living longer, and consequently developing a myriad of health issues from their age–including heart disease. Another highlight issue is obesity. Heavier weights have been linked to heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. With the rise of the obesity epidemic, the prevalence of cardiovascular issues has greatly increased. The final key component to the overall increase in cardiovascular issues is a shift that has occurred in our lifestyles. In recent years, the average American’s life has grown more sedentary. Less physical activity coupled with sugar-laden diets and high alcohol consumption has resulted in an explosion in cases of coronary artery diseases. The average American is less healthy than in generations past, and cardiologists will be in increasing demand as long as this trend persists. 

Despite all this, one issue could interfere with the growth of the interventional cardiology devices market, and affect the profession as a whole. The manufacturing costs for these tools are quite high. To combat this, small-time manufacturers slashed their prices, which prompted the global players to cut their prices down as well. Consequently, the market for interventional cardiology devices has been crippled. The accompanying good news is that despite this, the rise of heart disease in the US and elsewhere has not gone unnoticed by governments. Government-sponsored public awareness initiatives relating to heart disease and its prevention and treatment are increasing in number. The initiatives spread awareness about the risk of cardiovascular disease, and emphasize the importance of regular checkups. Cardiologists should expect more patient traffic from these initiatives.