Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the USA, with 25% of all deaths attributed to heart complications. With such high numbers, you would think that heart check-ups would be a priority for everyone, but this is not the case. Many Americans are unsure about when to see a cardiologist. Some only go during free clinics offered during American heart month. So how often should you go to a cardiologist? Read on for more information about when you should schedule your next heart check.
The Importance Of Cardiological Exams
Heart disease kills about 1 American every 40 seconds. There are many types of the disease, including coronary artery disease, heart failure, cardiac arrest, arrhythmia, and congenital heart disease. In many cases, heart disease is manageable and even curable if discovered in its early stages. This is why it is important to go for regular cardiologist exams whereby your doctor can discover early signs and potential risk factors of heart disease. People with a risk of getting heart disease can be taught how to manage their bodies through diet, exercise, and medication to live healthier and longer.
What Do Cardiologists Look For During An Exam?
Heart check-ups are conducted to discover signs or risk factors of heart disease. The first thing that the doctor will ask about is your family history. If heart disease runs in your immediate family then you are a higher risk of getting the disease too so the doctor will advise you on measures you can take to reduce your chances of getting sick.
The next thing that doctors will test is the level of cholesterol in your body. This is done through a Lipid Panel Screening Test that measures the number of Low-Density and High-Density Lipoproteins (LDL and HDL) as well as triglycerides. High levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and low levels of HDL’s places you at a higher risk category for getting heart disease.
Another test you will get is a blood pressure test. High blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease, but many people never recognize its symptoms until its too late. This is why regular checkups are important.
Another important test that will be conducted is the blood sugar test. This checks your body for diabetes, which is a leading cause of heart disease and strokes. C-reactive protein (CRP) levels will also be assessed. The higher your CRP level, the higher your risk of getting heart disease because high CRP is an indication of inflammation or infection in your body. The doctor may also use an ultrasound to measure the size of your aorta as an enlarged or swollen one could indicate that you have a heart disease called Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.
How Often Should You Go To A Cardiologist
So how often should you see a cardiologist? This depends on your risk factors for heart disease. If you are healthy and you follow a healthy diet, then you should see a cardiologist at least once every 2 years. Cholesterol should be checked for every 4-6 years. Sugar levels can be checked every 3 years and CRP levels should be checked if you have a 10-20% chance of a heart attack. Having high cholesterol can have many affects on your heart.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America yet early detection of risk factors can prevent or cure the disease. The answer to the question “how often should you go to a cardiologist” is it depends on your risk factors. If your health statistics are normal, you should go for a heart check-up at least once every 2 years. Those that have suffered a heart condition before or at a higher risk category for getting heart disease should go more often as advised by their doctors. For more health tips such as the best fruits for digestion and difference between vegans and vegetarians, read the rest of our blog.