February is American Heart month. What screening tests should you be getting for heart disease?
According to the American Heart Association, the following screening tests for coronary artery disease are recommended:
Cholesterol level should be checked every four to six years starting at age 20.
Blood pressure should be checked every two years starting at age 20. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80.
Blood glucose should be checked every three years starting at age 40.
For patients who have significant risk factors for coronary artery disease, other tests should be considered. Risk factors for coronary artery disease include abnormal cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, cigarette smoking, and family heart of heart disease at a young age. If a patient has these risk factors, other testing may include an EKG, cardiac stress test, or other types of imaging studies to evaluate for heart disease.