Without a doubt, the heart is one of the most hardworking organs– and ironically, it is often one of the most neglected, too. Unlike the muscles in other parts of the body, the heart does not slow down when it is tired, nor does it feel sore after a particularly grueling activity. It just pumps blood continuously, night and day, to sustain life. This is why when it comes to heart health matters, the Cadence Heart Center in Singapore believes that no concern is ever too small or insignificant. The heart deserves a lot more care than it gets and there is no better time than now to show it some much-needed TLC!
You may ask – how is that possible? Do I need to undergo any complicated medical procedures? For those who have no prior experience, the idea of subjecting the heart to medical scrutiny seems daunting.After all, we never know what might turn up in one of the tests, right? And that is what makes a heart health screening all the more important!
The goal of screening tests like heart screening is to detect a disease before the onset of symptoms, where it is at its most treatable form. During a screening test, it is common for doctors to order lab tests on blood and other fluids, imaging exams for internal organs, or genetic tests to identify genetic markers that are linked to specific diseases. It can also be a part of an annual health checkup where the primary care physician assesses a patient’s blood pressure, weight and body mass index (BMI), blood glucose, and cholesterol level. Keeping track of how these numbers change over time will help determine if you need to make changes to your lifestyle or if there is a need to seek further (and immediate) medical treatment for potential heart diseases.
To better understand the importance of heart screening in Singapore, this article will discuss the following:
- What are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
- What age group will benefit most from a heart screening test?
- What are the common heart screening tests that I should be aware of?
What are the risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
An unhealthy lifestyle is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. So if you are a smoker who has zero physical activity and likes to eat fatty, processed food, then you better watch out! If you do not make any lifestyle changes soon, you will have a high risk of developing diabetes, obesity, and/or high blood pressure.
There are also risk factors for heart disease that are considered uncontrollable or non-modifiable. Some of these include gender (male), age, history of heart disease in the family, and race (studies show that people of Mexican American, African American, and Native American descent are more prone to heart disease).
With heart screening tests, people at risk for future cardiovascular conditions can be identified and advised to get preventative treatment, while those with modifiable risk factors can be still persuaded to adopt healthier habits to lower their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
What age group will benefit most from a heart screening test?
The risk for getting a heart attack increases as a person gets older. This is supported by the fact that most people who experience it are 35 years old and above. But that does not mean that you should be complacent if you are younger than 35. In Singapore, there are also a lot of heart attack cases in the younger population in recent years, especially for young males who smoke and have hyperlipidemia (or a high level of lipids or fats in the blood).
To make sure that your heart is in good shape, all adults 18 years old and above should get a heart screening in Singapore. Those who have higher risk for cardiovascular disease – if you have high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, or diabetes – must get their doctor’s advice on how often they should get screened.
What are the common heart screening tests that I should be aware of?
- High blood pressure check–Having high blood pressure puts you at a greater risk for stroke and heart disease so it is important to get your blood pressure monitored during a routine checkup, or at least once a year. Your doctor may suggest changes to your lifestyle (e.g., stop smoking, limit alcohol intake, get enough sleep, etc.) and/or medication to prevent the condition from worsening.
- Body weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) check – Monitoring weight and BMI changes is not only for those who are conscious about the way their body looks. These measurements can determine whether you have an ideal body weight or not. People suffering from obesity are more likely to develop serious health problems like congestive heart failure, stroke, and heart disease.
- Blood glucose test – Diabetes, if left untreated, can result in health complications like stroke and heart disease. The doctor may suggest a blood glucose test if a person is overweight and has at least one additional risk factor. This test can be taken at least every three years.
- Cholesterol check – This test measures the good and bad cholesterol in the blood. Once you have reached the age of 20, a fasting lipoprotein profile or cholesterol check may be taken every four to six years. The interval may lessen if you have any elevated risk. For patients above 40 years old, the doctor will also calculate the risk of developing stroke or cardiovascular disease within a period of ten years.
Get a Heart Screening – Now!
As they always say, “Prevention is better than cure”! This line may sound cliché, but it is impossible to deny the truth that it holds, especially when it comes to our health. Screening tests guarantee early detection and the sooner a condition gets treated, the higher chance there is of making a full recovery.
Do yourself a favor and schedule a heart screening at Cadence Heart Center. We will assist you all throughout the process and we will do our best to make it as convenient and comfortable for you.
Cadence Heart Centre – Dr Devinder Singh
Mt Elizabeth Hospital, 3 Mount Elizabeth #14-13
Mt Elizabeth Medical Centre, Singapore 228510
(65) 8318 9884
(65) 6369 8789
(65) 6369 2789