Heart is one of life critical organs that works relentlessly round the year to pump blood and nutrition throughout the body. With such a workload, it is susceptible to wear and tear. The heart health is also affected by our erratic lifestyles and diet patterns. Hence, periodically assessing the health of the heart by clinical check-up is crucial to prevent cardio vascular diseases and preserve heart function for a long time.
Regular screening of the heart helps you identify the risk factors at an early stage and take up necessary therapies to prevent more complicated conditions. A mild deviation in the test parameters always doesn’t mean that it will lead to grave heart disorders, but it will give you a chance to alter your lifestyle to have positive effect on the heart health. For many people the test results might prove to be wake-up call i.e. it might discover a potential condition on threshold.
Though everyone above the age of 25 are encouraged to go for regular heart health check, people with following risk factors should follow a scheduled heart check routine.
Recommended tests for heart health
Periodic check-up of the following will help identify any conditions early on and will help you take the necessary actions to maintain the health of your heart.
Body weight plays a vital role in maintaining heart health. You may be amazed to know that for one pound of weight gained, the body forms about 7 miles of blood vessels, which in turn puts more load on the heart to pump blood. Moreover, weight gain slows down your physical activity that again is detrimental to heart health.
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Blood pressure is an important parameter that determines heart health. High BP usually doesn’t show any symptoms for a long time. But, it enhances the risk of heart attack and stroke manifolds. It can be controlled by diet and lifestyle modifications. Hence, it is recommended to check your BP more often.
The lipid profile evaluates the level of cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides. Higher level of cholesterol is a risk factor for high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. This test also helps determine the treatment approach for people at higher risk of heart diseases.
This test is done to assess the quality of blood and its components. The test values may vary slightly depending upon age, gender and general condition. But, higher abnormalities may be an indication of potential health problems.
Blood Sugar: It has been observed clinically that high blood sugar (Diabetes) is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Serum Potassium: The heart is nothing but an involuntary muscle. And, optimum Potassium level is necessary for good muscle functions.
Serum Creatinine: The Creatinine level in the blood is generally measured to assess the function of Kidneys. Since, the impaired Kidney function ultimately impacts the function of heart and brain, this test is often included in a standard heart check routine.
The X-ray of the chest is taken to assess the condition of chest cavity and enclosed organs such as heart, lungs and large vessels of the heart. The test also helps to find structural abnormalities of the chest cavity, which may result in congestive heart conditions.
ECG is a non-invasive way of reading heart function by measuring its electrical activity pattern. The patterns are then interpreted by a trained cardiologist to diagnose any abnormalities of the heart such as arrhythmia, vessel blockage or any other structural defects.
Colloquially known as ECHO, this is an advanced investigation to find out the defects in the structure of the heart. It is similar to the ultrasound test, where sound waves are sent through transducers to picture out the heart. An ECHO gives more precise reading on abnormalities of heart function.