How Do You Perform a Heart Health Check?


Quick Answer

Physicians perform a heart-health check by using screening tests for blood pressure, fasting lipoprotein profile, body weight and blood glucose, according to the American Heart Association. Doctors also ask about the patient's smoking habits, physical activities and diet.

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Full Answer

Regular heart-health screenings help identify heart disease risk factors, such as high blood glucose, high total cholesterol and high blood pressure, in the earliest stages, notes the American Heart Association. Pharmacotherapies and lifestyle improvements are typically advised to treat risk factors and prevent the occurrence of a cardiovascular disease.

Blood pressure screening is crucial, as high blood pressure often does not cause symptoms and cannot be detected easily, notes the American Heart Association. A person with high blood pressure is at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Individuals age 20 and above with a blood pressure below 120/80 millimeters of mercury should undergo a blood pressure test once every two years.

Physicians advise having a fasting lipoprotein profile taken once in four or six years beginning at age 20, states the American Heart Association. The blood test measures a person’s triglycerides, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol and total cholesterol. Body weight screenings help doctors determine if a patient has a healthy weight and composition, and blood glucose tests can detect if a person is at risk of developing prediabetes or diabetes.

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