Check your heart list:
___Heart and vascular exam by health care provider
___Blood pressure, pulse, weight, height
For further evaluation, especially if symptoms are present, and/ or if there is a strong family history of heart and vascular disease see a cardiologist.
Tests may include:
___Doppler echocardiogram (checks heart valves, size, etc.)
___Stress test - nuclear, doppler or exercise (heart function)
___Heart MRI scan (artery disease)
___Interventional studies like cardiac catherization, angiogram (checks artery blockage, valve function)
Heart health habits:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat healthy small portions.
- Exercise regularly - every little bit counts! Just do it regularly.
- Keep blood pressure under control.
- Keep stress level low.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take an aspirin a day if in a high risk group. Check with your health care provider.
- Love, laugh, and let go!
J.L. Richardson, MD, family medicine, is the author of the award winning Patient Handbook to Medical Care: Your Personal Health Guide.