Lt Col Reynolds
When you reach a certain age, you should be screened to determine your risk for cardiovascular, or heart, disease. Dr. Patel, can you tell us more?
Of course. In order to determine your risk for cardiovascular disease, your healthcare provider will likely consider both demographic and clinical factors. Demographic factors include:
- Age: if you’re a male over 35 or a female over 45
- Family history: whether or not you have premature coronary artery disease, heart attacks, or sudden death in your family, and
- Tobacco use or smoking
Clinical factors include:
- Diabetes, and
- Your HDL cholesterol level
For those whose risk for cardiovascular disease is determined to be low, it’s a good idea to repeat this screening every five years. For patients who are high risk, a lipid profile will likely be recommended. These are blood tests that determine both total cholesterol and HDL levels, which will help you and your provider decide if any additional testing or treatment is necessary.