The Basics of Heart Screening: What You Need to Know

According to the Ministry of Health in 2016, about 16 people die from cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart diseases in Singapore every day. It is one of the growing common causes of death in the city state. As a matter of fact, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) accounted for roughly 29.5% of deaths in 2016.

The alarming numbers urge every citizen to consult their cardiologist every once in a while. Getting an annual heart screening can potentially save your life. It is a non-invasive and comprehensive process that can identify one’s risk of developing a heart disease. Ideally, it is better to diagnose the risks before the disease grows serious, causing irreversible damage or even death.

What is Heart Screening?
Hopefully, you won’t need the help of a heart surgeon if you take matters into your own hands immediately. Undergoing a heart screening offers the standard GP tests, with a unique state-of-the-art technology to gauge one’s heart health. It also generally incorporates about 9 heart tests in a single consultation. The process combines traditional CVD tests with Pulse Wave Analysis (PWA); a powerful tool to determine one’s risks of developing a cardiovascular disease.

Even the best cardiologist in Singapore would encourage people to get their hearts screened at least once a year. Regardless of whether you’re living a clean and healthy lifestyle or not, there might be risks you possess which remain unknown unless you take a screening. The non-invasive process is nothing to be afraid of. It usually spans for about 45 minutes to put you in control of your heart health.

After the whole screening process, your heart doctor will compile and interpret the results before constructing a comprehensive heart health report. You can expect for the results to be given out within five days. Included in the report are recommendations which can likely minimize your likelihood of getting a stroke or a coronary heart disease— if addressed.

How does it help you?
Getting a heart screening by a cardiologist gives you a first-line defense in possible early detection of any cardiovascular disease. Contrastingly, standard tests only rely on the existence of advanced diseases such as severe artery blockages to discern and assess existing heart problems. With the advanced assessment with a harley cardiology surgeon in Singapore of a proper heart screening, you can detect early signs of deterioration in the veins and arteries.

Regardless of whether you’re at low or high risk, a screening of your cardiovascular well-being is essential to let you be aware of the information required to ensure a healthy, cardiovascular condition in the long run.

How does it work?
Your heart doctor will generally spearhead the process of a heart screening. Advanced technology will be used to obtain a clear visual picture of your heart and arteries. The test itself is non-invasive (so it does not necessarily require the presence of a heart surgeon), pain-free, and also performed when the patient is at rest.

Conventional investigations are still done – such as blood pressure, Electrocardiogram (ECG), body mass index (BMI), and cholesterol count. Furthermore, it also has additional tests which can protect you from the risks of having an advanced form of heart disease, like the Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI) and Pulse Wave Analysis (PWA).

The Ankle Brachial Pressure Index indicates the presence of vein blockages or any arterial narrowing in the legs. The Pulse Wave Analysis, on the other hand, detects early signs of deterioration in the arteries. The analysis also includes an assessment of your aorta’s condition, which the biggest artery in the body. The occurrence of increased stiffness in this artery can be a major cause of massive heart strain as well as a full-blown stroke. This is common in people which has high risks of developing a heart disease.

Are you at risk?
People who smoke, have high blood pressure, or are overweight are likely candidates for having cardiovascular problems. However, there are still victims of heart disease who do not possess particularly abnormal risk factors. This means, just about anyone can still be at risk.

Any cardiologist would know that there isn’t a single factor to pin as the main cause of having a CVD. Instead, the diagnosis of CVD resulted from several minor factors which had a synergistic influence on each other when combined. Several people in Singapore have fallen victims of heart disease without really showing any notable, abnormal risk factors.

Factors which can impact your overall cardiovascular condition
Regardless, there are certain factors which can render you vulnerable to develop a cardiovascular disease. Some of these factors become more dangerous if they exist particularly in combination. If you possess any (or several) of these factors, your need to undergo a heart screening is heightened:

• High blood pressure
• Diabetes
• Smoking
• Obesity
• Kidney diseases
• High cholesterol
• Inactivity
• Family history of CVD/stroke
• Advancing age
• Psychosocial factors (depression, stress, loneliness)

Keep in mind that this list is compiled in no particular order. But if you have any or a number of these factors, you can count on a heart screening to assess the impact of these factors on your general cardiovascular health.

An early detection can prevent or even reverse an arterial deterioration, or significantly reduce the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke. Although these factors are notable red flags to your cardiovascular condition, there are still people who are diagnosed with CVD who do not possess any abnormal risk factors. This makes just about anyone vulnerable to become a victim of heart disease.

To sum it up, an early detection may just save your life. Do not wait until it’s too late. Visit your cardiologist and get your heart screened.

This list is compiled in no particular order.