If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease or have other risk factors for heart attack, then you may benefit from certain heart health services. In addition to genetics and family history, risk factors for heart disease include hypertension, elevated low-density lipoproteins, obesity, and diabetes. Here are some heart health services to consider that may help lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
Blood Pressure Screenings
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a significant risk factor for heart attacks and stroke. It rarely causes symptoms and is also known as the "silent killer." Extremely high blood pressure, also known as malignant hypertension, may cause headaches, dizziness, chest pain, and nosebleeds.
Getting regular blood pressure screens can help determine if your blood pressure is abnormally elevated. When antihypertension treatment is implemented early on, you may be less likely to develop complications of high blood pressure such as an increased risk of cardiac events, blood clots, and renal disease.
Abnormal lipid profiles may also increase your risk for heart attacks and stroke. High cholesterol, especially high low-density lipoproteins, may raise your risk for cardiovascular disease as might elevated triglyceride levels. While triglycerides are not cholesterol, they are blood lipids that when abnormally elevated may contribute to your risk for heart attacks.
A simple lipid profile blood test can evaluate your total cholesterol, high-density lipoproteins, low-density lipoproteins, and serum triglyceride levels. If your cholesterol screening panel is abnormal, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising, and cutting down on your alcohol intake. If these lifestyle interventions are ineffective in managing your blood lipids, medications known as statins may be recommended.
An EKG (electrocardiogram) is a non-invasive test that can evaluate your heart health during rest. It can help your doctor determine if you have a cardiac arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, or bradycardia.
Tachycardia refers to a heart rate that is abnormally elevated and bradycardia refers to when your heart is beating too slow. If your EKG is abnormal, your physician may recommend additional testing such as a stress echocardiogram. Your primary physician may also refer you to a cardiologist, a physician specializing in diseases and treatments of cardiovascular conditions.
To help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, talk to your doctor about the above heart health services. When cardiovascular conditions are diagnosed and treated in their early stages, you may less likely to have a heart attack or stroke.Share