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Heart Health Tests

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. today, causing about 1 in 4 deaths, according to the CDC. Although heart disease is common and can be fatal, it is also preventable by means of creating and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits early on, and it can be mitigated by catching it early on through use of heart health tests.

blood test to check heart health
Heart Health

Introduction to Heart Health Tests

The sooner you find out you have heart disease or any heart complications through a blood test to check heart health, the easier it will be to treat. This is why it is so important to undergo heart health testing. There are several different kinds of tests that can be administered to indicate whether you have or are at risk for heart disease, and some of the tests available include blood tests, chest X-rays, Electrocardiogram (ECG), Holter Monitoring, Echocardiogram, stress tests, cardiac catheterization, cardiac computerized tomography scan (CT scan), and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Some examples of blood tests include testing levels of cholesterol, high-sensitivity C-reactive proteins, lipoproteins, plasma ceramides, natriuretic peptides, and troponin T. These blood tests look to see whether any of these levels are off in your blood and if they are it can be an indication that you have or are at risk for heart disease. Once a blood test is administered and levels are off, that is when additional testing may be necessary.

An Electrocardiogram is a test that records electrical signals of the heart and this testing can indicate whether heart rhythms are normal. Holter monitoring is a portable ECG device that a patient would wear to record their heart rhythm. This can detect heart problems that may not have been indicated during a regular ECG examination. An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create images of your heart’s structure, showing how your heart beats. Stress tests entail raising heart rates through means of exercise or with medicine to perform heart tests with imaging to see how your heart responds. Cardiac catheterization is a little more invasive, and in this test, a short tube, called a sheath, is inserted into a vein in your leg or your arm. A longer tube, called a catheter, is then inserted into the sheath, and x-ray imaging allows the doctor to see the blood flowing through your heart to check for problems. CT scans are when an X-ray captures images of your heart and your chest. The cardiac MRI is used to capture computer-generated radio waves that creates detailed images of your heart.

Heart health tests can be invasive or non-invasive depending on the severity of the condition. A lot of the time with early testing, blood tests can be the easiest means of testing and can offer doctors a look into your condition and whether you need to look into further testing. Your blood can give doctors a good indication that you might be at risk of having a heart attack or if you are at risk of developing plaques in your arteries (also known as atherosclerosis). Blood tests alone will not determine your risk of heart disease; however, they are a good indicator and provide a lens into your heart health.  

What Are the Signs You Need a Test?

What Do Medical Tests for Heart Health Look For?

There are various different medical tests for heart health, and these tests are looking for a multitude of different indicators that you are at risk of developing heart disease. Blood tests to check for heart health look for several different things that may indicate a future heart problem.

The first thing blood tests look at are your cholesterol levels. A cholesterol test is also called a lipid panel, and it measures the fats in your blood. If your total cholesterol is too high, this can increase your risk for heart disease. This test will also look at triglycerides, which is an indication that you eat unhealthily and do not exercise enough. High triglyceride levels are also an indication that you are at risk for heart disease.

Heart health blood tests are looking to see whether you have abnormal levels of cholesterol, high-sensitivity C-reactive proteins, lipoproteins, plasma ceramides, natriuretic peptides or troponin T. Abnormal levels of any of these will be an indication that you are at risk for heart disease, which will allow your doctor to determine whether you need to be on medication or if you need further testing to indicate how serious your risk for heart disease is at this time and what measures need to be taken to minimize the risk.

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Understanding Why Knowing the Signs is Important

Signs You Need Blood Tests to Check Heart Health

There are several indications that you need to go in for blood tests for heart disease. Some key screening tests for monitoring cardiovascular health include blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight, blood glucose, smoking, physical activity and diet. 

Measuring your blood pressure is an excellent means to tell if you are in need of a blood test to check on your heart health. High blood pressure greatly increases your risk for developing heart disease and strokes. 

A fasting lipoprotein profile is a test that is administered every 4-6 years for young adults starting at age 20 to measure total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. If your healthcare provider determines from this test that you are at an increased risk for heart disease, you may need to be tested more regularly, make thorough lifestyle changes, and potentially be put on medication.

Bodyweight can be used to determine your body mass index (BMI) during your routine physical. Obesity is also a cause for heart problems such as heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation and more.

Measuring your blood glucose levels is another way to screen whether you need additional blood tests to check on your heart health because high blood glucose levels put you at a greater risk for developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and if untreated this can lead to heart disease and stroke. 

Lastly, if you smoke, lack physical activity and have a poor diet, you are also at risk for developing heart disease, and this can be an indication that you need blood tests to check your heart health.

Trusted Testing in California & Beyond

CRC Lab’s Heart Health Screening Tests

California Recovery Center offers heart health screening tests for those who are looking to have their heart health tested. At CRC Labs, we understand the importance of a physician’s ability to draw evidence-based conclusions from screening tests you receive at our facilities. Clinical laboratory services provide physicians with the required information they need to start, adjust and also stop a course of treatment. We believe in the use of new technologies that are only continuing to improve the productivity levels of our labs by increasing efficiency and accuracy of our testing and allowing us to do more testing than ever before.

CRC Labs provides quick, safe and accurate heart health testing for each patient so we can help catch any early indications of heart disease. Through administering heart health screening tests, we are offering our patients the opportunity to think about making healthier life choices to prevent developing heart disease. Through this testing, we are also able to help our patients understand their risk for developing heart disease and what measures they may need to take to prevent further damage.

Our lab services in California are always working on improving our techniques to ensure that each and every one of our patients feel safe and monitored when entering our facilities. As an essential service, California Recovery Center Labs continues to provide blood tests, heart health screenings, and more. Come visit us today at CRC Labs in Sacramento, California, and we will help make sure to provide you with the best testing for your needs. 

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