Heart screenings look for health problems before you experience symptoms. They can also identify your risk for heart disease. Your doctor may recommend:
- Blood pressure test – High blood pressure (hypertension) increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Starting at 20 years old, have a blood pressure screening test every two years.
- Lipid panel test – Measures the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Too much cholesterol can build up on the walls of the arteries and put you at risk for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Starting at 20 years old, you should have a lipid panel done every four years.
- Blood glucose (sugar) – Checks for high blood sugar levels, indicating untreated diabetes. Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other conditions.
- Body mass index (BMI) – Gauges your tissue mass—muscle, fat, and bone—compared to your height to determine if you are underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese may increase your chances of heart disease. Calculating your body mass at home or during an annual check-up is best.
Health Screening Cost
Health insurance plans often cover the cost of heart screenings as part of wellness care. Pharmacies have machines to check your blood pressure for free. Your primary care doctor will also perform screening tests during your annual well exam.