One of the most important ways to prevent cardiovascular diseases is to detect risk factors at an earlier stage and subsequently, manage these factors — high blood pressure, high blood glucose or high total cholesterol. It is vital to know which risk factors does the body have. One of the best ways to analyse it is through screening tests done during regular visits to the doctor. Thus, one can treat the risk factor with changes in lifestyle and pharmacotherapies, whichever appropriate, before it leads to development of cardiovascular diseases. Following are listed some of the most important heart health screenings.
Blood pressure is one of the most important screenings since a high blood pressure has no symptoms and so cannot be easily detected without being measured. If a person has high blood pressure, it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. If the blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg, it is advisable to go to a doctor and get it checked, at least once in every two years, starting at the age of twenty. If one’s blood pressure is higher, the doctor may want to check it more often than otherwise. High blood pressure can be controlled through a change in lifestyle or even with a regular dose of medicines. Women usually face a higher risk of high blood pressure than men after the age of sixty five, whereas, African–American adults of all ages have a higher-than-average risk.
Screening the body weight is also important for a healthy heart. So, every time you go to your doctor, make sure to get yourself weighed in order to calculate your body mass index (BMI) and measure your waist circumference. These measurements tell you if you have a healthy weight. You may begin with these screenings at the age of twenty. As per researchers, about two in every three adults are overweight or obese. This is dangerous analysis because obesity increases the blood pressure, triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, and can thus induce diabetes. These risk factors, in turn, increase the risk of having a heart disease and stroke.
Smoking, physical activity, diet: for people who smoke, it is important to tell the doctor about it soonest. Also, discuss your diet and physical activity habits. In case one smokes, the doctor may suggest ways to quit the habit. If there is some room for improvement in your diet and the daily physical activity levels, the doctor may provide some very helpful suggestions that would help keep a healthy heart, mind and body.
Blood glucose is a factor that must always be kept under check. Especially, starting at the age of forty five, one should have the blood glucose level checked at least once in every three years. Since high blood glucose levels put one at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, that can lead to heart disease and stroke, keep a check on it. If you are overweight and also have at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor, your doctor may recommend a blood glucose test even if you are not yet 45.
These are the most important heart health screenings one must get done to prevent any unwanted diseases and thus, keep a healthy heart.
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