Why do we need cardiovascular disease screening
Cardiovascular disease is well known in public and it does affect the patient’s quality of life especially in the presence of symptom. In some patients, sudden death may be the first presentation of the disease. Majority of cases, the quiescent disease exists for many years until several factors aggravate the symptom.
Most of people seek medical consultation when they have significant symptoms or until late stage of disease. Few cases may die before medical consultation.
Identification of cardiovascular disease risk factors and detection of quiescent disease are important for treatment of early stage disease. Many clinical researches point out that treatment of risk factors can prevent future cardiovascular disease.
There are many kinds of cardiovascular diseases e.g., coronary artery disease (which involves artery to heart muscle), myocardial disease (which involves heart muscle), valvular heart disease (which affects heart valves), and cardiac arrhythmia (which affect electrical tissues of the heart). For example, patient with longstanding uncontrolled blood pressure may has thickening of heart muscle (called hypertensive heart disease) and atrial fibrillation (a kind of abnormal heart rhythm). Several clinical studies showed that treatment of hypertension can prevent hypertensive heart disease and atrial fibrillation.
What does cardiac screening involve?
- Enhanced External Counter Pulsation (EECP)
- Common Carotid Intima-media Thickness (CIMT)
- Echocardiography (ECHO)
- Exercise Stress Test (EST)
- Cardioankle Vascular Index (CAVI)
- Electrocardiogram (EKG,ECG)
Who need cardiac screening?
People with age at least 40 years, family history of heart disease, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity should receive cardiac screening. People who have symptom which suspected heart disease such as chest pain, unusual tiredness or breathing problem, syncope, palpitation and bilateral leg edema should receive cardiac investigation.
How to prevent heart disease and its complication?
- Do not overuse salt
- Avoid saturated fat and trans fat
- Regularly taking fresh fruits and vegetables
- Regular exercise at least 30 minutes a day
- Smoking cessation
- Stress management
- Adequate sleep