Cardiac screening includes a range of tests that can assess your risk of heart disease or detect the earliest signs that something isn't right. Anyone can benefit from heart screening, but it is particularly important if you are at high risk of heart disease.
Who Should Have Heart Screening? Cardiac screening is particularly important if you are over 40 or if you have any of the risk factors for heart disease. These include a family history of heart disease, being overweight, smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol, a sedentary lifestyle, or having a condition such as high blood pressure. Screening is important for women as well as men, and it can be a good idea if you are a serious athlete as your heart can be put under a lot of pressure.
What Happens During Cardiac Screening? Different kinds of cardiac tests can be performed according to your needs. Common tests during cardiac screening include a blood pressure check, blood cholesterol test, ECG, and echocardiogram. Each of these tests can detect different kinds of risk factors or signs of heart disease. You will also discuss your lifestyle and medical history with the doctor, which can reveal a lot about your risk of heart disease.
How Can Heart Screening Help? Cardiac screening can save lives. If you have a heart problem, it is important for it to be detected as soon as possible so that you can get the treatment you need. Screening can also reveal whether you have any conditions that might put you at risk of heart disease in the future. Getting treatment for problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes can prevent them from affecting your heart. The screening process is also a chance to get advice on the risk factors that you can change to reduce your risk of heart disease. Even if there are no signs of trouble yet, your doctor might advise you to make changes to your diet or lifestyle to improve your health. If you come back for more screening tests in the future, you should be able to see the difference these changes are making. Risk factors such as your blood pressure and cholesterol level can improve quickly once you start taking better care of yourself.