According to the Health Promotion Board of Singapore, heart disease is one major cause of death in the country, as well as all around the world. No one is exempted from having a heart problem. Even a person who always eats healthy food and does exercise can suffer from it. Heart health screenings are important for us to know how healthy our hearts are, so we can immediately act upon the problem should there be any.
Importance of Cardiovascular Screenings
There are a lot of factors that can cause heart or cardiovascular disease. Risk factors may include unhealthy lifestyle characterized by poor nutrition, being overweight due to physical inactivity that is common in Singapore, excessive intake of alcohol and smoking. A person who has more risk factors is more likely to develop heart disease.
Cardiovascular screenings enable early detection of the traces of heart disease. This prevents the development of other complications such as heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, and artery disease. Dr Paul Chiam, a cardiologist at the National Heart Centre Singapore, stressed that heart disease risk factors could really be detected through screenings. Due to early diagnosis, immediate treatment will be more effective in preventing or delaying its complications.
Who Should Undergo Heart Health Screening
It is strongly recommended that people who are 40-45 years old in Singapore should start their heart health screening. Those with strong Singapore family medical history of this disease should start assessing their heart health through health screening packages in Singapore as early as 35 years old. The frequency of check-ups depends on the patient’s medical history and risk profile.
Tests for Heart Disease Risk Factors
• Blood Tests – Through this, your cholesterol level is assessed. It is also an assessment of how well your liver and kidneys are functioning.
• Electrocardiogram or ECG – This is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart. When the heart beats, an electrical signal travels from the top part of the heart to the bottom. This signal causes heart contraction which allows it to pump blood. An ECG reveals how fast your heart is beating and whether the rhythm of the beats is normal or irregular. It also shows the strength and timing of the signals as they travel through every part of your heart.
• X-ray – This test helps detect any abnormalities in the heart, lungs and blood vessels. This is a non-invasive test which uses ionizing radiation to create pictures of what is happening inside your chest.
• Cardiac CT – This is similar to x-ray but takes more detailed pictures of each part of the heart. The computer puts the pictures together to have a 3D image of the whole heart.
• Stress Testing – This evaluates how your heart responses during physical stress. Typically the body demands for an increase in blood supply during strenuous activities and increased workloads. Some heart diseases are easier to detect when the heart is beating fast and working hard to pump blood. All these can be easily found out through corporate health screening if you are part of a company.