CVD risk checkup in a nutshell
So you’re hearing all this talk about cardiovascular disease and that you might be at risk, and you’re starting to wonder if maybe you should get checked. But just thinking about scheduling a doctor’s visit is exhausting; where will you find the time? How long will it all take? Will you have to miss lunch? Will someone else have to pick up your kids from school?
Worry not! We’re here to put your mind at ease.
Screening for CVD should be neither tiring nor time-consuming.
Here’s what you can expect when going in to get checked:
Medical history: the doctor will want to know about you and your family’s history of conditions related to CVD, and about your lifestyle and any possible risk factors. For example, if your father or brother had been diagnosed with heart disease before the 55, or your mother or sister before the age of 65, you are considered to be at risk for the same.
Blood pressure: a nurse hooks you up to a machine which measures your blood pressure, heart rate and the level of oxygen in your blood. High blood pressure is one of the most important risk factors for CVD, and many times has no signs.
Weight and height: these are used to calculate your body mass index, which tells if you are overweight.
Blood tests: to check your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Other than finding a place to park your car, getting checked for your risk of CVD is probably the simplest – and most important – thing you can do with your precious time.
Sawicka, K., Szczyrek, M., Jastrzębska, I., Prasał, M., Zwolak, A. and Daniluk, J., (2011). Hypertension – the silent killer. Journal of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Research, Vol 5(2), 43-46 Ornato, JP and Hand, MM., (2001). Warning Signs of a Heart Attack. Circulation. 104:1212-1213.