Until you have a cardiovascular disease you might not take your doctor’s advice to start having a healthy lifestyle. Your doctor will explain that you have to manage risk factors to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Risk factors include things like high blood pressure and cholesterol. A visit with a cardiologist for proactive screening is a good first step towards identifying and managing these risks.
What are the benefits of seeing your cardiologist in Singapore for proactive heart screening? What’s an ideal age to start screening and what are the screening methods?
Below are some of the key benefits of seeing your cardiologist for a proactive heart screen:
Detecting risk factors early will help you deal with them sooner. Treating a risk factor earlier helps prevent the development of cardiovascular disease. Your cardiologist can help you get started with healthy lifestyle changes. These include quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, or watching what you eat to lower your bad cholesterol. This will help you prevent blockages in your arteries and avoid a heart attack.
Some people dismiss the results of screening when it shows that they have low-risk factors. You should take this as a wake-up call. Having low-risk factors doesn’t mean you won’t develop cardiovascular disease. Your low-risk factors may worsen and develop into high-risk factors later if you don’t make some changes now.
Having a heart screening is a good first step towards developing a personal determination to live long and healthy. Remember, most cardiovascular diseases are silent and swift killers if not permanently disabling. The surest protection against these diseases is a life-long pattern of living heart-healthy. Your cardiologist can help you develop this heart-healthy pattern.
Annual proactive cardiovascular screening is recommended at age 20. Your follow-up with a cardiologist may be more frequent depending on your risk factors. At 40, you will be recommended to do a blood test to check your cholesterol level.
Between 30-65, your cardiologist will most likely recommend more screening procedures. This will be more likely if you have more risk factors, such as a family history of heart attack, heart failure or obesity.
Your cardiologist in Singapore may recommend these four proactive heart screening tests:
At age 20, healthy blood pressure should be around 120/80 mm Hg. Your cardiologist may recommend having your blood pressure checked at least once every two years if your blood pressure is lower. If it is higher, you'll likely have to check it checked more often. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack or stroke.
Obesity puts adults at risk for cardiovascular diseases. At age 20, your cardiologist will recommend watching your body mass index. This will show if you have a healthy body weight and composition.
Your cardiologist will recommend undergoing a fasting lipid profile screening every 4-6 years from age 20. This will measure your total cholesterol, bad cholesterol (LDL) and good cholesterol (HDD) and triglycerides levels.
Your doctor will check if you are living a healthy lifestyle that will help prevent cardiovascular disease. If you're a smoker and drink alcohol, there are programmes and support systems that will help you quit.
If you have a desk job, your cardiologist will also recommend regular physical activities that will keep your heart healthy.
Remember, having a healthy heart is primarily your responsibility. With support from your cardiologist, you can proactively prevent cardiovascular diseases today.