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Screening For Heart Disease

Screening for Heart Disease

Increasingly we are able to look for, diagnose and effectively treat medical diseases even before they cause a problem. This is especially true when screening for heart disease, which is very common and often presents dramatically with a heart attack or even sudden death. Happily, we have a number of ways of screening apparently healthy people for early signs of heart disease and are often able to reassure people that they have no signs of heart disease at all.

Anybody can develop heart disease but particular groups of people are more likely to develop heart problems and therefore these people benefit most from screening.

Examples include:

Smokers, people with diabetes, people with a strong family history of heart problems or sudden death, people with high blood pressure or cholesterol.

Sometimes we are asked to perform screening tests as part of a routine work-related medical assessment or for mortgage or life insurance purposes.

What tests can I expect?

After talking with you and an examination, it may be suggested that you undergo one or more of the following tests:

  • Simple blood tests
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Exercise tolerance test (ETT)
  • 24 hour Blood pressure reading

Depending on the results of these tests, further more advanced tests may be required:

  • Thallium (Perfusion) scan
  • Stress echocardiography
  • Coronary CT angiography

If you are found to have unexpected heart disease, the treatment options will be discussed with you in detail by your doctor.

screening for heart disease