Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US – but early detection and treatment can change your life. Learn more about our heart health services and come in to see us today.
What are heart disease risk factors?
Some heart disease risk factors cannot be changed. If you’re a male over the age of 45, a female over the age of 55, or you have a family history of stroke, heart, or vascular disease—you are at higher risk for heart disease, and you should consider getting regular heart screenings.
Fortunately, there are also heart disease risk factors that can be modified, treated, and controlled:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- High cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Diet and nutrition
What are the benefits of heart screening?
Once you have a clearer understanding of your risk of heart disease, you can identify areas for improvement and work towards preventing complications. Lifestyle changes may be sufficient, but medicine or procedures may be necessary to improve your quality of life.
Heart screening tests have 3 phases:
- Risk category assignment – What are your risk factors for heart disease?
- Early disease assessment – Do you exhibit any of the early warning signs or symptoms of heart disease?
- Modifiable disease contributor assessment – Which of your risk factors can be improved with lifestyle changes?
The extensiveness and cost of the heart screening are based on your risk assessment. Some tests are unnecessary for low-risk individuals but may be essential for high-risk categories.
Blood pressure is one of the easiest factors of your health to have screened and consistently monitor.
High Blood Pressure (or Hypertension) is a condition in which the blood pressure in your artery walls is too high. The greater the force, the higher your blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to life-threatening diseases including coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure.
It’s important to know that anyone can develop high blood pressure. In fact, hypertension is the most common cardiovascular disease. It can affect children and teens, and in the U.S. alone around 30% of adults have high blood pressure. Many cases go unnoticed due to a lack of symptoms or warning signs.
A stroke is a rapid loss of brain function due to a disrupted blood supply to the brain, most likely caused by a blockage or leakage of blood.
When you have a stroke, your brain is unable to function. Often, you can’t move one or more limbs on one side of the body, your ability to understand or formulate speech is drastically lowered, and even your eyesight may worsen on one side. To help potential avoid suffering a stroke our board-certified cardiologists are specialized in stroke screening.
A stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent brain damage, complications, and even lead to death. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and Europe and the second leading cause of death worldwide. The warning signs of a stroke must not be ignored.