When it comes to heart disease, one of the most efficient ways at preventing it is to reduce your risk factors. One of the ways to reduce your risk factor for cardiovascular disease is to participate in screening tests that can alert you to things that put you at a higher risk, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or elevated blood glucose (blood sugar) levels.
According to Heart.org, it is essential that you get screened regularly for disease of the heart so you can work with your cardiac specialist to reduce as many risks as possible. The recommended tests depend on your risk factors and age, but may include one or more of the following.
One of the first tests that your doctor will perform to assess your risk factor is to check your blood pressure. This is done during every routine doctor visit and is the easiest test to perform. It is also important because there are no symptoms of high blood pressure, which is why it is called the silent killer. If you have a high blood pressure, you will need to take medication and/or make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk.
Lipid Panel Screening
A test called a complete lipid panel screening checks your cholesterol levels, since high cholesterol can clogged your arteries and impede proper blood flow. The test requires a simple finger stick (or blood drawn through the vein) to check the lipids in your blood, including your LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels.
Weight, Diet and Exercise
Your lifestyle is a significant factor in your risk for heart disease, so part of the screening process includes looking at your diet, finding out what your physical activity is, and checking your weight. If your body mass index (BMI) is in the overweight or obese category, you will be advised to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight to reduce your risk.
Diabetes is a big risk for cardiac disease, so your blood glucose level needs to be checked every few years, or more often if prediabetic or diabetic. Untreated diabetes puts you at an even greater risk, so your cardiac specialist needs to know if you have this condition.
Aortic Aneurysm Screening
Another test you might be recommended for is an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening. This is a simple test that uses an ultrasound machine to take pictures of your abdominal aorta to see if their is an abnormal bulging or ballooning in your blood vessels.
Visit your local Arizona cardiovascular treatment center and talk to a cardiologist about screening for cardiovascular disease.