Early detection prevents complication such as heart failure, stroke, kidney disease and artery disease. Heart disease is 1 of the top leading cause of death worldwide and affects not only the heart but other major parts of the body. Early detection prevents complication such as heart failure, stroke, kidney disease and artery disease.
Heart (Cardiovascular) Screening
Heart disease is a broad term that uses to describe a range of diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Heart disease is often used interchangeably with cardiovascular disease.
Why is cardiovascular screening important?
Cardiovascular disease begins with damage to the body from lifestyle factors like smoking, physical inactivity and an unhealthy diet. This progresses to the development of high-risk diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Screening identifies those at risk of future cardiovascular events of the heart and other major body organs. It also identifies those with modifiable risk factors, which are reversible and reduce one’ s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Who should go for the screening of cardiovascular risk factors?
- Every adults aged 18 years and above should go for the screening of cardiovascular risk factor
- Patients with diabetes, high blood pressure
- Long-standing kidney disease patients
the above are those who are having a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and should be screened regularly based on their doctor’s advice.
Cardiovascular Risk Assessment
What is the global cardiovascular risk assessment?
Global cardiovascular risk assessment involves assessing a patient’s total cardiovascular risk rather than just assessing risk factors (high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes or obesity) in isolation.
The best known global cardiovascular risk assessment tool is the Framingham Risk Score (FRS). Based on the FRS adapted for local use, the risk for an asymptomatic individual is classified as:
- Low-risk corresponding to <10% risk of vascular events* over a ten-year period
- Intermediate-risk corresponding to 10-20% risk of vascular events over a ten-year period
- High-risk corresponding to >20% risk of vascular events over a ten-year period
*These vascular events include heart attack and coronary death.
It should be done every five years starting from the age of 18 years. For individuals at risk but who have no symptoms, the assessment is followed by advice on making certain lifestyle changes such as cutting back on cigarettes, eating healthy foods and exercising regularly and, where appropriate, medicines are given to treat high blood pressure, high lipids and diabetes. Individuals at low risk should continue to lead a healthy lifestyle. More frequent assessment is recommended for those who are diabetic, chronic smokers or obese.
How to calculate the ten-year coronary artery disease risk?
It is calculated based on:
Total and High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol level
Systolic blood pressure
Additional Screening Tests
What additional screening tests may be needed following global cardiovascular risk screening?
These additional tests may be needed for cardiovascular evaluation of individuals moderate and high risk without any symptoms.
- Resting Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Exercise Treadmill Test
- Coronary artery calcium score
- Cardiac stress imaging (Stress Echocardiology)
- CT Coronary angiography
- Carotid intima-media thickness
When should screening for body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, high blood and high cholesterol be done?