Screening for early-stage cancers has been a vital part of preventative health care for decades. Such screening tests exist for colon, breast, prostate, and many other forms of cancer. Medical professionals have known for many years that the sooner a life-threatening disease is caught and diagnosed, the better the long-term outcome will be for the patient. It’s interesting to note, however, that cardiovascular disease1 remains the leading killer of Americans for men and women. Why do we not have regulations in place governing standard preventative screenings for cardiovascular disease? What can you do to take charge of your heart health? Read on to find out the answers to these questions.
Cardiovascular Risk Factors
Scientific studies2 have proven that at least 20% of deaths annually can be attributed to lifestyle and behavior patterns, meaning that these deaths are completely preventable by instituting lifestyle changes. An even greater number of deaths could be prevented by diagnosing cardiovascular disease early so that treatment can begin promptly. In discussing cardiovascular disease, it’s important first to be aware of the risk factors for this group of illnesses. Risk factors for the development of serious cardiovascular disease include the following:
- Having family members with cardiovascular disease
- Advancing age (Risk naturally increases with age)
- Being a male (Males have a slightly greater risk than females)
- Having high cholesterol
- Having high blood pressure
- Being sedentary
- Being overweight or obese
- Suffering from diabetes
While this is not an all-encompassing list, having one or more of these risk factors greatly increases your chances of suffering from cardiovascular disease including having a heart attack, stroke, or aneurysm.
The Significance of Cardiovascular Health Screenings
Lowering your risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease involves a variety of modalities. First and foremost, lifestyle changes3 should be implemented that will reduce your risk as much as possible. Now that you’re aware of the risk factors as discussed above, you have a great deal of control over some of these factors. For example, if you’re overweight, you can take steps to gradually bring your weight into a normal range. If you smoke, you can take steps to stop right away. If you are sedentary, you can begin to implement an exercise program that fits your current schedule, keeping in mind that even a brisk walk a few times a week will help improve your cardiovascular health.
The vital thing to note with cardiovascular disease is that many times the symptoms can be silent4. You may not know right away if your blood pressure is constantly high. You will likely not be aware if your cholesterol is high unless of course you see your doctor and have a blood test performed. You will likely not be aware that you have a build-up of plaque in your arteries without having testing procedures performed that will alert your doctor to this issue. This is why preventative screenings for cardiovascular disease with Life Line Screening are so important. These issues can be present for years or even decades before you begin to have physical symptoms, and all that time they are causing damage to your cardiovascular system without you being aware of it.
Studies indicate5 that a tremendous number of lives can be saved if cardiovascular disease can be diagnosed at an earlier stage. When this prompt diagnosis is made, treatment options can be instituted to help correct some of the risk factors involved and lower your odds of suffering from a heart attack, stroke, or aneurysm.
What is Life Line Screening?
Life Line Screening is a leader in the world of early intervention testing for determining risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. Life Line Screening employs dedicated and experienced medical professionals with the expertise needed to determine the current state of your cardiovascular health. They can provide you with a number of preventative testing procedures so that you are aware of any underlying issues and can correct them before they advance to cardiovascular disease. Life Line Screening utilizes the most scientifically advanced testing procedures combined with the latest technology to provide you with lifesaving information you can use to improve your cardiovascular health, improve your life, and lengthen your lifespan.
What Types of Tests does Life Line Screening Perform?
Life Line Screening testing procedures can be broken down into three main categories, and these will be discussed in more detail below.
- Ultrasound Testing Procedures
Ultrasound technology is of vital importance because it provides a way to clearly see into the body to determine underlying problems in a safe, painless, and non-invasive manner. During a Life Line Screening ultrasound procedure, sound waves are introduced into the area of the body to be viewed, and the resulting echoes create an image of what is going on inside the body. Ultrasound imaging can accurately detect the presence of aortic aneurysms, carotid artery disease, and the presence of peripheral arterial disease.
- Blood Tests
Blood tests are an essential part of determining the health of the cardiovascular system and pinpointing any areas that might need improvement. Today’s blood tests are so sophisticated that most can be performed from just a few drops of blood, so Life Line Screening generally uses a simple finger prick blood test.
Life Line Screening can use these few drops of blood taken from your finger to perform important tests such as a complete lipid profile to determine your cholesterol levels, a glucose screening to determine your risk for diabetes, and a C-reactive protein screening which detects inflammation in the body. Additionally, liver enzyme levels can be tested which can help determine overall health and disease risk. Once you are aware of your results on these testing procedures, you can be better equipped to make lifestyle changed to bring these factors into a normal range and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease.
- EKG Testing
Electrocardiographs may not be the most technologically advanced cardiovascular testing procedure, but they are extremely useful in detecting irregular heartbeats that can increase the risk of strokes. EKGs are non-invasive and completely pain-free. They also require no advanced preparation and can be done quickly without even removing your clothes.
Cardiovascular disease remains a leading killer of American men and women each year. Many adults are not aware of the fact that they can have risk factors associated with these types of illnesses for decades without showing any symptoms. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that you take the future of your cardiovascular health into your own hands. Preventative testing can help alert you to any underlying problems so that you can make improvements that will protect your cardiovascular health in the years to come.