Heart Disease Screenings

The degree of risk for having a heart attack or contracting coronary heart disease varies with the individual, but statistics do show that it increases with age. It is strongly urged that men and women 40 and older take steps to monitor problems and minimize risks.

Here Are Some Things You Can Do:

Have a medical home

Become a patient of a primary care physician that gives you regular check-ups. He or she will help you monitor some key health factors and prescribe any testing if needed.

Have blood cholesterol checked at least every five years

Know your total cholesterol levels. 240 mg/daily level (dl) or higher is considered in the red zone and HDL (good cholesterol) should be at least 35 mg/dl.

Have fasting plasma glucose checked at least every three years

Like coronary heart disease, diabetes is considered a disease of the vessels. More than 6 million Americans are unaware that they even have the disease. A regular glucose check helps monitor this.

Maintain a healthy weight

For most, it’s a lifestyle choice that involves improving what and how much you eat along with being active. Monitor your Body Mass Index (the relationship of your height and weight). A BMI of 25 to 29.9 indicates that you are overweight.

Be active or exercise at least 20 minutes a day

Get moving any way you can. It could be as easy as walking more. You’ll feel better and have more energy.

Don’t smoke

People who stop smoking before age 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half. Ask for help. There are a lot of resources to help.

Don’t consume alcohol in excess

If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. One drink per day if you’re a woman and two if you’re a man.