It is important that you measure your risk of heart disease and create a plan to prevent future problems. Heart attack risk assessment is one of the ways a doctor and patient can develop a care plan to help decrease your risk of heart and vascular disease. The risk assessment tool helps check to see if you are having a heart attack or may be suffering from coronary heart disease over the course of the next ten years.
The assessment is a series of questions that determine how at risk you are for heart disease. By age 40, every person should be aware of their risk, and continue to assess every five years to check on risk factors and prevention.
Heart and Vascular Diseases are the Leading Causes of Death and Disability in America
Heart and vascular diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States.[i] While they account for over $500 billion in health care costs and expenses each year, they are among the most preventable of diseases.
How can you prevent heart and vascular diseases from impacting your life?
Early Detection and Prevention of Heart and Vascular Disease
Early detection services play a critical role in preserving and maintaining heart health. Screening, evaluation, and noninvasive diagnostic testing are important in preventing heart and vascular diseases from progressing. Early detection is extremely important if someone is experiencing certain types of symptoms, such as chest, neck, jaw, or arm pain or discomfort. Other symptoms to watch for include shortness of breath, fainting, heart palpitations, and increase in fatigue, lightheadedness, and dizziness.
Heart Calcium Scoring
Heart calcium scoring is a test designed to evaluate the deposits of calcium found in the plaque in your coronary arteries. A CT scan detects the levels of calcification and shows if you are at risk of heart disease. A person with more calcium buildup suggests coronary atherosclerosis. When this occurs, there is a greater chance of artery narrowing.
Vascular Disease Screenings
Early detection of vascular disease is essential for effective treatment. Screening tests are typically non-invasive and painless. Screening tests are recommended for patients between the ages of 40 and 70, without known heart disease. The screening assessment improves risk of disease development, especially for individuals with cholesterol problems, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
The screening involves an ultrasound to measure the thickness of the carotid artery walls. The test is non-invasive and reveals the risk you are of having a heart attack or stroke.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Screening High School Athletes
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is one of the most common genetic disorders impacting the heart. It is recognized in the media as sudden cardiac death or SCD, and impacts young athletes. Knowing what symptoms to look for helps identify which athletes are at risk. Screening of young, high school athletes is highly effective in preventing an at-risk patient from sudden cardiac death.
The screening process may involve a series of questions. Your doctor will find out if you are an at-risk athlete. If an athlete is impacted by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an ECG may be recommended. The ECG uncovers the disease and allows the doctor to recommend necessary treatment as required.
At Cardiology Associates of Michigan we are committed to providing the highest quality heart and vascular care. For an appointment, please call our office at 586- 580-3143.
[i] 1Xu J, Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, et al. Deaths: Final data for 2007. Natl Vital Stat Rep. 2010;58(19).