It’s widely discussed that cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in American men but many don’t understand it’s also a large threat for women. The good news is that an estimated 80% of cardiovascular disease cases are preventable through lifestyle changes.
However, the longer your heart is under stress, the more likely cardiovascular issues are to develop. The best way to protect yourself against developing heart problems is through regular screenings and a personalized heart health plan.
You may be wondering how soon is too soon to start regular heart screenings? When asked, the majority of Americans thought cardiovascular screening should start at age 40. Meanwhile, the professional recommendation is that women begin getting screenings a full two decades earlier, at age 20.
What is a cardiovascular screening?
Screenings should include tracking risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and waist circumference each year. Cholesterol and glucose levels should be checked periodically. Screenings are simple and can be done by your primary care provider.
Many women proactively track these factors but are unsure what ranges are considered healthy or what to do when their numbers fall outside of the recommended range. It is important to consult your provider who will look at all these measures, their changes over time, and additional risk factors such as family history or use of tobacco products when building your heart health plan.
Your health care provider will talk to you about healthy ranges for your BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar based on your overall health, family history and any risk factors you might have. If any of your numbers are too high or too low, remember that simple changes in diet and exercise can have big benefits for your heart health!
Want to learn more about your heart health? Take our free, online heart risk assessment today.