Screenings to prevent cardiovascular problems

By: Chris Curry Email
By: Chris Curry Email

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In this Smart Heart report, we're teaming up with University Hospital to remind you about the importance of heart and vascular screenings.

There are 3 types of screenings the hospital does, including:
- Carotid Intima Media Thickness
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysim
- Peripheral Arterial Disease

CIMA looks at how thick the arteries in your neck are, along with your family history and other risk factors that can cause inflammation and lead to artherosclerosis.

AAA screens your aorta, which is the largest artery in the body, for a build up of plaque there. Too much plaque can cause an aneurysm, which can be deadly.

PAD screens arteries going to the arms, fingers, legs and toes. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says one in 20 americans over the age of 50 has PAD.

University Hospital is putting together a new program to screen people and prevent problems.

"the purpose of the program is to really educate the community. We want to look for risk factors in young people, a lot younger than they're being caught. We would like to stop the progression of heart disease. We know you can prevent heart attacks and strokes if you catch it early and are aggressive with it," said Allison Hillman, a Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Educator at University Hospital.

In the United States someone dies from cardiovascular disease every 40 seconds. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and if you need to set up a screening of your own.

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