Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women worldwide. Preventative cardiology, and preventive healthcare in general, has become more acceptable as a way to diagnose and treat disease. Risk factors for heart disease can go undetected without regular heart checkups and screenings. Don’t underestimate the importance of establishing your baseline through heart health screenings. It could save your life.
What is a Baseline?
A baseline means a starting point for making comparisons. The purpose of having regular heart health screenings is to find disease when it is at its earliest stage, and therefore most treatable.
Once New Jersey Cardiology Associates determines your baseline, all the future screenings will act as a measure for any other problems or risk factors by comparison. With each successive screening, your physician can create a picture of your heart health over time. It will indicate which area stands out and needs improvement.
Most screenings will focus on certain factors affecting the heart like blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol, glucose levels, diet, and exercise. Knowing which of these are problematic will help you and New Jersey Cardiology Associates address them.
Glucose and Risk of Heart Disease
Blood glucose measures the amount of sugar in your blood. This test diagnoses diabetes, prediabetes, and insulin resistance. If left untreated, high levels of glucose can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Cholesterol and Risk of Heart Disease
You should begin to get cholesterol screened starting in your 20s and then every few years after that. As you get older, it should be checked more frequently as per your physician. Cholesterol has no symptoms so having a baseline is important.
High Blood Pressure and Risk For Heart Disease
High blood pressure puts a strain on your heart and can cause damage to your arteries. Left untreated, clots can develop leading to a heart attack or heart failure. This is one of the most important measures since there are no symptoms.
Body Weight and Risk For Heart Disease
If your BMI is high and you are obese, you are much more susceptible to heart disease, stroke, atrial fibrillation, and congestive heart failure.
Diet/Exercise and Risk For Heart Disease
Your cardiologist will evaluate your diet and how frequently you exercise with each visit. Lack of exercise combined with any other risk factors can greatly increase your chance of heart disease. Smoking significantly increases your risk for heart disease, so discuss with your physician how to quit.
Know Your Numbers
Know your own numbers for each of these important risk factors for heart disease. Work with New Jersey Cardiology Associates to improve and reduce problematic issues after establishing your baseline through heart health screenings.