Preventing Heart Disease

Heart problems and complications tend to run in the family. So when an older family member has any kind of heart malfunction, it is only sensible to worry that the same problem could occur with your own heart.

You should be have routine checkups on your heart no matter what your family history. However, if a family member comes across a problem, you definitely need to be checked out for the same issues.

One of the things to monitor when your family is prone to heart complications is high blood pressure. Blood pressure is when the force of your blood is pushing up against your artery walls. High blood pressure comes if the pressure increases and stays at a high level of pressure over a significant period of time. High blood pressure is what can lead to many heart problems including a heart attack.

Besides having your blood pressure levels watched closely, you can also have simple blood tests known as hs-CRP done to watch for heart complications along with other heart tests. The test is for a high sensitivity C-reactive protein. The C-reactive protein is a telltale sign of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the body’s way of letting you know that your body’s immune system is reacting to tissue that is infected or damaged in some way. This inflammation can be in the heart and cause major heart complications. The test can be done when you have your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked out at the doctor’s. The test is a key one to take regularly if heart problems run in the family.

High levels of CRP tend to be seen in people who either smoke, have high blood pressure, are overweight, or a combination of any of these characteristics. Likewise, those who are in shape and thin will tend to have lower levels. Even though weight and size are major factors in where your levels of CRP will be, genetics also play a major role in your CRP levels just like high blood pressure does.

The high-sensitivity CRP test is sometimes combined with the lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 test. The LP-PLA2 test will determine your chance of having a cardiovascular disease, a coronary heart disease, or a stroke. Like the hs-CRP, the LP-PLA2 requires a small blood sample. This is why the two tests often go together.

Between having a regularly scheduled checkup with your doctor, watching your blood pressure, and having the two hs-CRP and LP-PLA2 tests done, you will be proactive in looking for signs of heart complications. Being vigilant about your health will help you to know what courses of action you need to take to prevent any serious heart problems.

If your blood pressure is high, you may need to make a few changes in your lifestyle to lower it to a healthier level. Knowing when there is a problem and being able to fix it is better than not knowing until it is too late. If heart problems run in the family, going in for regular blood tests is your best bet to be aware of the state your heart is in.

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments