Talk to your provider about your heart health.
Talk to your provider about these key heart health screening tests to see if you are doing all you can for a healthy heart.
High blood pressure greatly increases the risk for heart disease or stroke. This is one of the most important screenings because symptoms of high blood pressure are difficult to detect. If your blood pressure is greater than 120/80 mm Hg, get it checked regularly. High blood pressure can be controlled through lifestyle changes
Also known as Fasting Lipoprotein Profile, this blood test measures LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol and total cholesterol. This too can be monitored through lifestyle changes and/or medication.
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) measurements tell if you are at a healthy body weight and composition. Obesity puts you at a greater risk for heart disease, stroke, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, diabetes and more.
High blood glucose levels put you at risk for insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to health issues such as heart disease or stroke. If you are overweight and have at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor, your doctor may recommend a blood glucose test.
Smoking, Physical Activity and Diet
If you are a smoker, talk to your provider about ways to quit. Also discuss your physical activity and eating habits. Ask about ways to improve your lifestyle and get your heart health back on track!
Why is Screening Important
The key to lowering your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, also called coronary artery disease (CAD), is to manage health behaviors and risk factors. These include diet, physical activity, smoking, body weight, blood pressure, cholestoral, blood glucose and more. To know which risk factors you may have, your doctor may conduct or request screening tests.
Everyone has different levels of risk. If your test results are not ideal it doesn't mean you are guaranteed to develop a cardiovascular disease. Instead, it means you can start a journey to a healthier lifestyle and change your health for the better!
Some tests, such as body weight and blood pressure are taken during routine appointments and some cardiovascular screenings start as early as age 20. Follow up exams depend on your level of risk.
If you have been previously diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition such as heart failure or atrial fibrillation or have a history of heart attack or stroke you may require additional and more frequent screenings. Even if you have not been diagnosed you may require frequent testing if you have risk factors or a family history of cardiovascular disease.