Work. School. Spending time with the family. Everyone has a busy schedule, and you would think it’d be impossible to add one more appointment in there. While you may think your heart’s health is fine, it is imperative to make regular appointments with your local cardiologist to promote a healthy and long-lasting life for your heart. Every 36 seconds, someone in the United States dies of heart disease. According to the CDC, heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the US, with 1 in 4 deaths being from cardiovascular complications. While these statistics can be alarming, many warning signs can be caught early with appropriate testing and treatment.
Why a Cardiac Check-up?
There are a multitude of factors that put one at risk of heart disease. Almost half of American’s have 1 of 3 of the risk factors associated with heart disease. To minimize risk and ensure that one’s heart health is in optimal shape, it is recommended that everyone receive a routine heart check-up, regardless of whether issues are prevalent or not. A local heart doctor can often perform tests to see underlying issues related to heart health.
Some of these underlying issues that affect heart health that may not be immediately visible include:
- High cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes / High blood sugar levels
It is recommended that adults begin to get regular screenings at around the age of 20. Young adults only need to see a heart doctor about once every 4-6 years, in line with the CDC’s recommendation for routine cholesterol level checks. Screenings pose no added risk to their health, and may help catch problems early on in their adult life.
More advanced annual check-ups should be performed through the progression of the later adult years. Older adults are at a greater risk for heart disease simply because of their age, and should receive these frequent check-ups to check for proper cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. High levels of any of these are general warning signs for heart disease and a greater risk of heart attack. Leaving these warning signs unchecked may lead to a potential heart attack and/or stroke.
What tests are performed during a routine exam?
Advanced testing can be performed for those needing a full cardiovascular health profile.
When going in for a heart check, there are a variety of tests that can be performed. One of the most common tests undergone is an echocardiography exam. Echocardiography uses an ultrasound of the heart to look for problems surrounding its pumping functionality and heart-valves, blood clots, fluid in the heart sac, and many more issues. A test like this is generally regarded as a very safe and non-intrusive procedure, making it easy to conduct right in a cardiologist’s office.
Along with echocardiography, other common cardiac diagnostic tests that can be performed include:
These variety of tests use different methods to look into the heart and provide different results that give a better picture of what underlying issues could be increasing one’s risk of heart disease. See our blog on Cardiac Testing for more information on each test.
Don’t wait till it’s too late to take reactive measures towards keeping your heart in top shape. Be proactive and make time for regular check-ups with Dr. Thomas at CT Cardio to get the appropriate help and testing to ensure a long, healthy life.