There are a variety of risk factors to consider, and being aware of these factors may just save your life. Just because you feel fine or do not have any current symptoms does not mean you aren't a candidate for heart disease. The following are points you should be looking at and having evaluated by a health care provider:
- It's in your family history. Knowing your family's health history will be very important in evaluating your risk factors for not only heart disease but other health ailments as well. If something does run in your family, it does not necessarily mean you are guaranteed the same issue; it will just be vital information to share with your healthcare provider.
- Your current health habits. If you are a smoker, eat foods high in fat, respond to stress poorly or live a primarily sedentary lifestyle, you may be at risk for heart disease and stroke. You can change this around with just a few adjustments to how you live. Be sure to speak with your doctor about your lifestyle so that she or he can determine whether or not you need to be screened.
- Your numbers and key health indicators. In order to determine where you need to make changes in your life, or your level of risk, the American Heart Association says you should be tested regularly for the following:
- Blood pressure (every healthcare visit starting at age 20)
- Cholesterol (every five years starting at age 20; more often if your levels are above 200 or have other cardiovascular risk factors)
- Weight (every healthcare visit starting at age 20)
- Blood glucose (every three years starting at age 45)
Schedule your Well-Woman visit today so that you can take the pledge to take control of your health. Download this visit guide to get you started.
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