Dr Sakalesh B Patil explains why early detection of heart disease is important
It is important to catch the signs early
Early detection of heart disease is important
Various tests are used to diagnose heart disease. Your doctor will start by taking your personal and family medical history, recording current and past symptoms, and doing laboratory tests, an electrocardiogram and if needed echocardiogram. Based on the results of the assessment and tests, your doctor may order further tests.
Some of these tests are non-invasive, which means no instruments are inserted into the body. Other tests are invasive and require inserting instruments into the body.
Heart health screening tests
Blood pressure is one of the most important screenings because high blood pressure usually has no symptoms so it can’t be detected without being measured. High blood pressure greatly increases your risk of heart disease. If your blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg, be sure to get it checked at least once every two years, starting at age 20. If your blood pressure is higher, your doctor may want to check it more often. High blood pressure can be controlled through lifestyle changes and/or medication.
Fasting Lipoprotein Profile (cholesterol)
You might have a fasting lipoprotein profile taken every four to six years, starting at age 20. This is a blood test that measures total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. You may need to be tested more frequently if your doctor determines that you’re at an increased risk for heart disease or stroke. After age 40, your doctor will also want to use an equation to calculate your 10-year risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease. Like high blood pressure, often cholesterol can be controlled through lifestyle changes and/or medication.
Your doctor may ask for your waist circumference or use your body weight to calculate your body mass index (BMI) during your routine visit. These measurements may tell you and your physician whether you’re at a healthy body weight and composition. Being obese puts you at higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, and more.
High blood glucose or "blood sugar" levels put you at greater risk of developing insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Untreated diabetes can lead to many serious medical problems including heart disease and stroke.
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a graphic measure of the electrical activity in your heart. There are specific patterns on the EKG that your doctor looks for to determine whether there are abnormalities
An echocardiogram checks how your heart's chambers and valves are pumping blood through your heart. Any abnormalities will help the doctor diagnose heart diseases.
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