Healthy Heart Tips: Week 4
Tip 7: Get regular health screeneings
High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage the heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably won’t know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.
- Blood pressure. Regular blood pressure screenings usually start in childhood. Starting at age 18, blood pressure should be measured at least once every two years to screen for high blood pressure as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
If you’re between 18 and 39 and have risk factors for high blood pressure, you’ll likely be screened once a year. People age 40 and older also are given a blood pressure test yearly.
- Cholesterol levels. Adults generally have their cholesterol measured at least once every four to six years. Cholesterol screening usually starts at age 20, though earlier testing may be recommended if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of early-onset heart disease.
- Type 2 diabetes screening. Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease. If you have risk factors for diabetes, such as being overweight or having a family history of diabetes, your health care provider may recommend early screening. If not, screening is recommended beginning at age 45, with retesting every three years.
If you have a condition such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, your health care provider may prescribe medications and recommend lifestyle changes. Make sure to take your medications as your health care provider prescribes