Cardiovascular or heart disease is the No. 1 killer of North Americans.
Doctors can and should screen adults for heart disease – more specifically, atherosclerosis, or plaque buildup in the blood vessels, that leads to blockage and heart attack.
The Risk Tests
Your doctor will ask about your level of physical activity and your diet, since smoking, low physical activity, unhealthy diet and obesity all increase the risk of a heart attack.
Those risks include high cholesterol (a blood test, starting at 40 years of age for men and 50 for women of average risk); high blood pressure (starting at age 18); diabetes (a blood test, starting at 40 years of age for men and women); smoking; and a family history of heart attack (in men under 55 years old and women under 65 years old).