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When should Women get Heart Screening done?

Women are mostly unaware of right age when healthy heart screenings should start, according to a new report by The American Heart Association which is based on survey done by Orlando Health National.

Most women believe the right age of heart screening is 40 years and above. Even if they have a family history of heart disease they do not get screen themselves before this age. While The American Heart Association recommended healthy heart screenings should begin at 20 years of age, yet 60% of women in the U.S. said heart screenings should start in late 30s age. The report suggests this may be partly the reason for increase in death rate of women due to heart diseases.

The doctors believe, earlier the better to identify the risks. According to Dr. Kristal Young, Cardiologist, Huntington Hospital, “If you can identify them in your 20s or 30s, the likelihood of you having heart disease in your 70s or 80s may be less.”

The hardening of the arteries and cholesterol begins developing during teenage and early 20s. “Women can develop atherosclerosis, plaque in their arteries, in their teens and early twenties. Therefore, it is vital to understand risk factors and make appropriate life changes as early as possible,” said Dr. Carolina Demori, a cardiologist who leads the Women’s Cardiac Center at the Orlando Health Heart Institute.

Cardiologists advise, women should be aware about their family history of heart ailments, and prioritize heart screening in their 20s to avoid the chances of developing serious life threatening heart diseases.

What does a heart screening include?

Typically, a heart screening includes blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar levels. It may involve echocardiogram (EKG or ECG) in some cases.

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