Tests that can help protect your heart health
Ask your doctor to give you these tests. Each one will give you valuable information about your heart disease risk.
What : A blood test that measure total cholesterol, HDL or good cholesterol, LDL or bad cholesterol and triglycerides, another form of fat in the blood. The test given after a 9 to 12 hour fast.
Why : To find out if you have any of the following :
– High Blood Cholesterol (high total and LDL Cholesterol)
– Low HDL Cholesterol or high triglyceride levels.
– All affect your risk for heart disease.
When : All healthy adults should have their blood cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 years. Depending on the results, your doctor may want to repeat test more frequently.
What : A simple painless test using an inflatable cuff on the arm.
Why : To find out if you have high blood pressure (also called hypertension) or prehypertension. Both are risk factors for heart disease.
When : At least every 2 years, or more often if you have high Blood pressure or prehypertension.
Fasting Plasma Glucose
What : The preferred test for diagnosing diabetes. After you have fasting overnight. You will get a blood test the
Why : To find out if you have diabetes or are likely to develop the disease. Fasting plasma glucose levels of more
than 126 mg/dLon two tests on different days mean that you have diabetes. Levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL mean you have an increased risk for diabetes and may have prediabetes. Diabetes is an important risk factor for heart disease and other medical disorders.
When : At least every 3 years, beginning at age 45. If you have risk factors for diabetes, you should be tested at a
younger more often.
Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist Circumference
What : BMI is a measure of your weight in relation to your height. Waist circumference is a measure of the fat around your middle.
Why : To find out whether your body type raises your risk of heart disease. A BMI of 25 or higher means you are obese. Both overweight and obesity are risk factors for heart disease. For women, a waist measurement of more than 35 inches increases the risk of heart disease and other serious health condition.
When : Every 2 years, or more often if your doctor recommends it.
Other Tests There also are several tests that can determine Whether you already have heart disease. Ask your doctor whatever you need a stress test, an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), or another diagnostic test.