More people continue to realize the value of preventative health care, early detection, and treatments. The approach is crucial as you strive to improve your health and realize the best long-term prognosis. For example, ask anyone when they intend to go for a colonoscopy, and most will readily answer at 50 years. But, besides heart-healthy nutrition, exercise, weight and stress management, and cutting out bad habits like smoking, what else do you do to keep your cardiovascular system in top shape? Have you ever had non-invasive tests like an echocardiogram Upper East Side?
Best time to start heart health screening
When should you consider heart exams, and how often should you have them? This is a question many people would struggle to answer, and for good reasons. While heart care can be scary, most people assume they are fit since they have not experienced any worrying symptoms. Nonetheless, heart health goes beyond worrisome attacks. With or without your doctor’s recommendations, you should start the checks as early as 20 years and have the test every two to four years.
At an early age, you will not need invasive tests. The common risk factors the doctor checks to establish your heart health includes:
- Body mass index
- Blood pressure
- Blood glucose
- Waist circumference
Besides the normal risk, your doctor also considers your lifestyle. Your diet, exercise regimen, and habits like smoking can be discussed. At 20 years, you are more aware of what certain things mean to your health. The doctor provides more information to help you make informed decisions. With routine visits, you will not struggle to stick to a heart-healthy regimen since you will have valuable information at your fingertips.
Considering the risk factors
Aging is beyond your control and a common risk factor; the older you get, the higher your chances of developing heart problems. This means that you should have more checks, such as annually. Including heart screening in your annual wellness visits as you approach high-risk years is essential, a recommendation your primary care doctor will likely bring to your attention. Other high-risk factors that warrant more frequent screening include:
Some heart problems could be hereditary. Concerns such as congenital heart disease, high blood cholesterol, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy, among others, could run in families, a genetic risk factor that should prompt you to include routine checks.
Men are at higher risk of heart health concerns. Nonetheless, women should not discount the check. This is since their prognosis is not as good, and mortality is high, especially after an acute cardiovascular event.
Health concerns such as high blood pressure/glucose/cholesterol warrant frequent heart screening. While prescription medication and other measures like dietary and physical activity regimens help, screening is essential to catch potential issues and stop them when non-invasive measures are still viable.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle or indulge in habits like smoking, you are at higher risk of heart problems. This warrants regular heart screening, especially if such factors within your control are hard to manage.
The earlier you start heart screening, the easier it will be to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Including the monitoring in your annual wellness checks makes the process more manageable, allowing you to stick to an effective routine. Visit Upper East Side Cardiology to learn more about heart health, common screening options, and how to maintain a heart-healthy regimen.