EXCLUSIVE: Heart Attack- What Screening Tests Do You Need To Track Heart Health? Check Doctor's Advice

Heart Attack risk: 1 of every 5 heart attacks is younger than 40 and the incidence of a heart attack in India is steadily rising. Here are key screening tests to keep a track of your heart health.


EXCLUSIVE: Heart Attack- What Screening Tests Do You Need To Track Heart Health? Check Doctor's Advice Why heart attack occurs? The thickening of the internal lining of the heart muscle can make it harder for the heart to pump blood

Heart attack: The country has seen the likes of Raju Srivastava, Satish Kaushik and Siddharth Shukla lose the battle of life due to a sudden heart attack. In this post-Covid era, healthcare has become essential and something all of us should keep up with. There are two ways that COVID-19 is known to impact the heart. One occurs when the disease is active, and the second is what medical practitioners refer to as prolonged COVID syndrome.

You learn more about your cardiac health through testing for heart disease. You may monitor your wellness and modify your lifestyle by being aware of your figures for important elements.

Zee News digital spoke with Dr Mohit Tandon, Consultant Non-Invasive Cardiologist, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Okhla –New-Delhi about the rapid increase in the number and frequency of heart attacks among people of all ages and the tests one can take to keep a track of his/her heart health.

How to identify a heart disease?

Arrhythmias, valve disease, and congenital heart defects are only a few of the conditions that are referred to collectively as "heart disease" that damage the heart. Coronary artery disease, the most prevalent kind of heart disease, damages the blood vessels, restricts blood flow to the heart, and raises your chance of having a heart attack.

Heart disease frequently goes untreated until heart failure or heart attack symptoms occur. To prevent various health concerns, it's essential to undergo routine heart disease exams.

What causes heart diseases?

Depending on the condition, different factors might induce different types of heart-related disease. Any age can be affected by heart disease. Congenital cardiac disease is a condition that can develop at birth. At times, it gradually worsens throughout our lives, progressing as plaque accumulates, much like coronary artery disease.

Coronary heart disease is brought on by genetics, smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. In essence, your heart needs to work harder because obstacles are in the way, placing an unnecessary amount of stress on the organ. Under tremendous stress, your heart can only continue to beat for a short time.

When should you go for a screening test for heart disease?

The American Heart Association recommends starting regular screenings at age 20. Although that sounds young, heart disease can also affect those who are younger. Your doctor can establish a baseline for your body and track changes as you age by having frequent screenings begin when you are 20. 

At this point, it's crucial to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and lifestyle factors through family history, physical exams, and blood testing, even if you're not at high risk.

Key tests for heart health screening

Earlier it was believed that heart attacks are rarer below the age of 40 years, however now 1 of every 5 heart attacks is younger than 40.

Following are some of the key tests recommended by the American heart association to keep track of your heart health:

Blood pressure— one of the most important tests is BP, hypertension has no specific symptoms and if undetected for long greatly increases your chances of having a heart attack, stroke and kidney injury. If you are healthy starting at age 20 you should check your BP once every 2 years, if your BP is high or out of range you will be tested frequently.

Lipid profile—starting at age 20 your lipid profile which measures your total cholesterol, good(HDL) and bad(LDL) and triglycerides, should be checked every 4 to 6 years, the duration will be shorter if you have a strong family history of heart disease or risk factors like obesity, diabetes. At 40 years of age parameters like BP, and cholesterol can be used to calculate your risk for stroke and heart attack.

Body weight—One must track his/her body weight as a part of an optimal health routine. Physicians will track your weight and use it to calculate BMI which helps to determine if you are overweight or obese which increases your risk of having diabetes, hypertension and future heart attack.

Blood glucose—Another important test is blood glucose, monitoring your blood glucose especially if you are overweight or have a family history of diabetes, helps to identify diabetes at an early stage thereby allowing optimal management which reduces your future risk of heart disease and other major complications. Tests such as fasting blood sugar and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1C) which measures your average blood sugar over the last 3 months can be used.

Specific tests like ECG, 2 D ECHO, STRESS ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY and CT CORONARY ANGIOGRAPHY are prescribed by the doctor for those who have specific symptoms suggestive of heart-related diseases, Some common symptoms being.

1. Chest discomfort in and around central chest radiating to left arm at rest or with exertion

2. Excessively fast heartbeat in absence of exercise or when sitting quietly.

3. Giddiness, loss of consciousness or excessive sweating associated with chest pain.

4. Very strong family history of premature heart diseases in first-degree relatives.

5. History of unexplained sudden death in a family.

Also Read: Poor Sleep Causing High Blood Sugar? Tips To Sleep Better, Control Diabetes

Tips to prevent heart diseases

Although serious, heart disease is largely preventable and treated, particularly with routine tests. You are more in charge of your heart's health than you may realise. To minimise your risk of heart disease, consider integrating these everyday routines into your life:

- Eating foods that nourish your body

- Monitor your health at home between regular doctor's visits

- Physical activity for 30 minutes daily

- Quit smoking and consume alcohol in moderation.