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Screenings for Heart Health

  • Category: Healthy Living
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Frederick Health
Screenings for Heart Health

Screenings are one of the most important things you can do for your heart health. Some conditions show no signs or symptoms, so the only way to catch and treat them is through an appropriate screening process. Depending on your lifestyle, personal and family health history, or risk factors, your doctor may recommend different tests or screenings. By knowing when and how often to get certain tests, you can take control of your heart health. 

Blood Pressure 

Testing your blood pressure is extremely important because high blood pressure typically presents with no symptoms. Having high blood pressure significantly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke

If your blood pressure is within normal range (less than 120/80 mm Hg), the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends you get it checked at least once a year. If your blood pressure is higher, your provider will recommend getting it checked more often. Don’t drink coffee or smoke cigarettes at least 30 minutes before a screening since they can alter your blood pressure. 


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 86 million U.S. adults aged 20 or older have high cholesterol (level above 200), but because no symptoms accompany it, many people don’t know their levels are high. Having high cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

A fasting lipoprotein profile is a simple blood test that measures the total cholesterol in your blood. The AHA recommends this test every four to six years for all adults 20 or older who are at a low risk for cardiovascular disease, and more frequently for those who are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Having a family history of heart disease or high blood cholesterol, having diabetes, or being overweight are all risk factors for high cholesterol. 

Obesity Screening 

Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for heart disease and high blood pressure. Alternatively, being underweight is also a risk to your health.  One way your provider can perform an assessment of weight status is by measuring your body mass index (BMI). A BMI is a calculation of your weight relative to your height. Your results will fall into one of these categories: 

  • Below 18.5: Underweight 

  • 18.5-24.9: Healthy weight 

  • 25-29.9: Overweight 

  • 30-39.9: Obese 

  • 40 or above: Morbidly obese 

Your Primary Care  provider will perform a BMI test during your annual well visit. 

Blood Glucose 

A blood glucose or blood sugar test measures the levels of glucose in your blood. Glucose is a type of sugar and your body’s main source of energy. Too much or too little glucose can be a sign of a serious medical condition. Having high blood sugar can lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Your provider may recommend a blood glucose test if you have symptoms of high or low blood glucose levels. The test may also be recommended if you have risk factors for diabetes including being overweight, having high blood pressure, or having a family history of diabetes. If you have or develop any of these risk factors, a blood glucose test may be recommended at least every three years.  If you are diabetic, your provider may recommend an A1C test twice a year. 

At Frederick Health, treatment through prevention is the focus of your care. With regular visits to Primary Care, your provider can learn about your unique personal, family, and social health history and how those factors affect your health. Your provider can recommend screenings and tests based on this information and help identify and treat diseases or conditions before they progress. 

Request an appointment with Primary Care today and see get a head start on important heart health screenings.