Cardiovascular screening is important because it helps to identify cardiovascular risk. It will give you a better overview of your heart health and minimise your risk of sudden cardiac death. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide and it begins with damage to the body from lifestyle factors like smoking, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet. Early detection reduces the risk of sudden cardiac death. Here are some of the recommended cardiac screening tests available. Every adult aged 18 years and above should go screen for cardiovascular risk factors. Patients with diabetes, high blood pressure and long-standing kidney disease have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and should be screened regularly based on doctor’s advice.
Key Screening Tests Recommended for Optimal Cardiovascular Health
- Blood Pressure
- Comprehensive Blood Test
- Weight/Body Mass Index (BMI)
Other Cardiovascular Screening Tests Include:
These tests may be needed for cardiovascular evaluation of individuals at moderate and high risk without any symptoms.
- Electrocardiography (ECG)
An ECG looks at the electrical conduction pathways around the heart and is a simple way to diagnose most cardiac abnormalities. It reveals information on heart’s electrical activity, heart rate and rhythm.
- Echocardiography (Echo)
An Echo is an ultrasound test which looks at the structure of the heart. This is to provide extra clarity from the ECG results and the measurements gives a guide to muscle thickness and size of the chambers of the heart.
- Exercise Treadmill Test
The test involves walking on a treadmill at increasing levels of difficulty, while the heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure and the heart’s electrical activity are monitored, to determine if there is adequate blood flow to the heart when the heart is stressed.
- Coronary Artery Calcium Score
This is to measure the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries, which is an indicator of the amount of plaque in the arteries. It cannot evaluate the severity of coronary artery narrowing (stenosis) due to the plaque.
- CT Coronary Angiography (CTA)
This test uses computed tomography (CT) and an intravenous contrast material (dye) to create three-dimensional images of the coronary arteries to determine the exact location and extent of plaque build-up.
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