Tests That Can Help Protect Your Heart Health (Heart Health)
Next time you visit your doctor, ask for these two tests. Each one will give you valuable information about your heart disease risk.
What: A blood test that measures total cholesterol, “good” and “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides, another form of fat in the blood. The test is given after a nine- to twelve-hour fast.
Why: To find out if you have high blood cholesterol and/or high triglyceride levels. Both are risk factors 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 the test more frequently.
What: A simple, painless test using an inflatable arm cuff.
Why: To find out if you have high blood pressure or high/normal blood pressure. Both are risk factors for heart disease.
When: At least every two years, or more often if you have high blood pressure or prehypertension.
There are other tests that your doctor may recommend as well, such as fasting plasma glucose or a body mass index and waist circumference measurement. All of these tests will provide invaluable information about your heart disease risk. Then, you and your doctor can create a heart health plan together.