Prevention Is Key For People With Heart Disease Risk Factors

27 September 2021
 Categories: , Blog

If you have a family history of heart disease or if you have risk factors such as hypertension or diabetes, then you may benefit from preventative health visits. Having risk factors does not mean that you will develop cardiovascular disease, although they can heighten your risk. Here are some things to expect at your preventative healthcare visit if you are at risk for heart disease.


An electrocardiogram, or EKG, is a non-invasive test that assesses your cardiovascular function while you are at rest. It is a simple, quick, and painless test that can help your doctor determine if you have a problem with your heart's electrical impulses or if you have a cardiac arrhythmia, also known as an abnormal heart rhythm. Both of these conditions can raise your risk for heart disease, stroke, or heart attack.

When arrhythmias and electrical impulse disorders are recognized and treated, your risk for heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks goes down. If your electrocardiogram reveals abnormalities during your preventative health visit, then your healthcare provider may recommend an echocardiogram. This test is also called a cardiac ultrasound and it uses sound waves to capture real-time images of the heart and surrounding structures. An echocardiogram is effective in diagnosing heart valve disorders such as mitral valve prolapse and mitral regurgitation. 

Lab Tests

Also included in your heart disease preventative health visits may be lab tests such as a cholesterol profile. Also known as a lipid panel, this blood test assesses your total cholesterol levels as well as your LDL and HDL cholesterol levels.

LDL cholesterol refers to low-density lipoproteins which are blood fats that can accelerate the progression of cardiovascular disease. If your LDL levels are high, your physician may prescribe a statin medication or lipid-lowering drug. HDL cholesterol refers to high-density lipoproteins which are blood fats that help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease.

While low-density lipoproteins are known as "bad cholesterol," high-density lipoproteins are known as "good cholesterol." These two types of cholesterol are thought to be more important in assessing a person's heart disease risk profile than their total cholesterol levels.

In addition to prescription statin medications, your healthcare provider may recommend that you maintain a healthy weight, enjoy daily exercise, avoid smoking, and limit your intake of alcoholic beverages to help further lower your LDLs and decrease your risk for heart disease. 

If you have a family history of heart disease or if you have risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes, seek preventative healthcare visits. Preventative measures can significantly lower your risk for cardiovascular disease regardless of your risk factors.