As you grow older, your physician will likely recommend that you visit a cardiologist and undergo a cardiac risk assessment. The goal of this assessment is to ascertain your personal risk for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiac conditions. At the end of the assessment, you will be assigned a level of risk: low, borderline, intermediate, or high. But what are the elements of a cardiac risk assessment? Take a look.
Health and Family History
Your cardiologist will review your own health history and your family's health history. If you have had any cardiac issues in the past or if members of your immediate family have had heart attacks or strokes, this increases your risk level.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your lifestyle. What do you eat? How much exercise do you get? Do you smoke or drink, and how often? They're trying to ascertain whether the way you live increases your risk of heart disease and related ailments.
Your cardiologist will take your blood pressure using a standard blood pressure cuff. If it is above the normal range, this increases your level of risk.
An EKG is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart. It shows when the various nodes of your heart fire. Your cardiologist will likely send you in for one; the test only takes a few minutes and is painless. An abnormal heart rhythm will increase your risk level.
A stress test is when you run on the treadmill (or ride an exercise bike) and your doctor evaluates how your heart performs under pressure. How long does it take for you to reach your maximum heart rate? Then, how long does it take for your heart rate to return to normal? The results of your stress test have a very big impact on the overall risk level you are assigned as this test says a lot about your heart's function.
Blood Lipid Panel
Finally, you will be given a blood test to measure the levels of LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol, along with triglycerides. Elevated levels of LDL and/or low levels of HDL can indicate a higher risk of heart disease, as can elevated triglyceride levels.
Now you have a better idea of what to expect during a cardiac risk assessment. It's a pretty simple assessment from the patient's perspective and should tell you and your doctor whether you need to be concerned about heart health going forward.Share
6 January 2021
Having a daughter comes with a number of challenges. One challenge that you will one day need to tackle is determining when to introduce your daughter to the gynecologist. Do you take your daughter to the same gynecologist that you see or take her somewhere else? Do you wait until she gets her first period or do you take her in to learn about the menstrual cycle from the doctor? There is a long list of questions you likely have about introducing your daughter to the world of gynecology. Having gone through this twice myself, I have learned quite a bit and have included a lot of helpful information in my site to help other parents get through this complicated time a little easier.