Is An Annual Cardiac Exam Necessary For Middle Aged Adults And Elderly?
How healthy are you? 40s are an excellent time to assess the current cardiac health condition, correct past conditions if any, and prepare the body for the coming decades. Your doctor can help you by examining for problems that can rob you of your health.
Nowadays In India, the annual cardiac exam is part of the healthcare system. For healthier adults, yearly visits to the doctor, have long been considered as basis for proper care. Lately, experts have begun to question whether our collective belief in this ritual makes sense. Are the benefits of annual care as high as we think? Can patients benefit from annual investigations in other ways?
The following blog provides information about cardiac screening tests that are available for adults aged 30 to 49 years and why is it necessary. It is essential to consider your personal health and risk tolerance when discussing screening tests with your doctor and to make test decisions.
Before that, let us see how your heart changes with age?
How Your Heart Changes with Age
People over the age of 65 are far more likely to have a heart attack, stroke, and heart failure than younger people. Heart disease is also a leading cause of disability, which limits activity and affects the quality of life of many adults.
Changes in the heart and blood vessels occur with age. For example, as you get older or enter middle age, your heart may not beat as fast as when you were young during physical activity or under stress. The number of beats per minute (heart rate) at rest does not change significantly with healthy aging.
Changes that occur with age can increase the risk of heart disease. The leading cause of heart disease is the accumulation of fat in the artery walls over the years. The good news is that there are treatments to delay, reduce, or maybe avoid or reverse risks.
There are age-related changes in the electrical system that can cause cardiac arrhythmias – fast, slow, or irregular heartbeats and a requirement for a pacemaker.
Valves are like doors that open and close to control blood flow between heart chambers. They can become denser and firmer. These stiffer valves can limit the circulation in the heart and become leaky. Both can cause a buildup of fluid in the lungs or the body (legs, feet, and stomach).
Your heart chambers may increase in size. The walls of the heart thicken, so the amount of blood that the chamber can hold may decrease, although an increase in overall heart size can decrease. The heart can fill slowly. Long-term hypertension is a significant cause of increased heart wall thickness, which can increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, a problem of cardiac arrhythmias that is common in the elderly, but now in mid adults.
With increasing age, people are more sensitive to salt, which can cause blood pressure and swelling of the ankles or feet (swelling).
Other factors, such as thyroid disease or chemotherapy, can also weaken the heart muscle. Things that you cannot control, such as your family history, can increase your risk of heart disease. A healthy lifestyle can help you prevent or delay serious illness.
The most common aging change is an increase in the stiffness of a large artery, due to arteriosclerosis(Deposition of fats) or hardening of the arteries. It causes hypertension, which occurs more frequently as we get older.
High blood pressure and other risk factors, including old age and middle age, increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis. Because several risk factors change for atherosclerosis, this is not always a normal part of aging. Plaque forms on the walls of your arteries and hardens and narrows your arteries over time, limiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other body parts.
Oxygen and blood nutrients are sent through the coronary arteries to the heart muscle. Heart disease occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries and reduces blood flow to the heart muscle. Over time, the heart muscle may become weak and damaged, resulting in heart failure. Heart damage can cause heart attacks, prolonged high blood pressure, and chronic diabetes and alcohol consumption.
Why an Annual Cardiac visit is necessary?
- Risk assessment
- Delivering preventive services
- Freedom from distraction by other issues
Why Annual Cardiac Exam Is Important and Necessary :
Screening tests are an essential part of health care. For people aged between 30 and 49 years, this test is used to identify some of the most common and potentially fatal diseases in the heart, that affect people in middle age. These tests can help detect certain diseases and conditions at the earliest and most treatable stage, even before you experience any symptoms.
With information from screening tests, your doctor can work with you to develop preventive measures that can improve your health and even extend your healthy years. For example, a routine cholesterol test can identify the risk of heart disease so you can take precautions, such as lifestyle changes before you develop a severe condition.
Nowadays, most of the lifestyle is changing, so it is better to have an annual cardiac exam regularly to mid adults and elderly to diagnosis heart diseases early to get better treatment.
When Do Mid Adults And Elderly Need A Checkup?
They may need a checkup:
- When they are sick.
- If they have symptoms that might indicate disease.
- To manage chronic or persistent circumstances of cardiac health.
- To check the effects of new drugs.
- If they have risk factors such as obesity or smoking
- For lifestyle problems
- For other reasons, according to your personal needs.
People in their twenties often don’t see a doctor for several years without endangering their health, while adults who have developed a risk of certain diseases may see doctors more often. It is best to have a trusted doctor where you regularly see who has access to your family medical records. It is recommended to the mid adults also to periodically visit the doctor for the early detection of the disease.
Common Medical Tests To Diagnose Heart Conditions:
Your doctor can order various medical tests to find out what your heart is like and how to best treat it. Some of these tests are below. (Note that your doctor can recommend additional tests based on your personal health profile.)
- Blood tests
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Exercise stress test
- Echocardiogram (ultrasound)
- Nuclear cardiac stress test
- Coronary angiogram
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Having annual cardiac exams regularly for people of all ages benefits in many ways. Health visits are a key to a healthy lifestyle along with taking medicines. Besides, an annual physical examination provides valuable advice about cardiac health for all ages. It promotes longevity and health by detecting early and reducing the risk of heart disease over the age of 50 years.
But if you have a health problem, don’t miss your annual exam. All this yearly cardiac test is not for people with health problems. If you are sick or symptomatic, or if you have a family history of illness, then immediately you should go to the doctor.
Not everyone in this age group needs screening for all the diseases listed above. Meet the doctor and find out if the exam is suitable for you or your family members. You should discuss screening options with a doctor. For more information on the annual cardiac review to take care of you and your family healthy visit Premier Hospital for cardiac examination and to meet the best cardiologist, contact us at +91-77020 01163 and book you appointment online.
About The Doctor:
Dr. K Chanakya Kishore – Interventional Cardiologist
Dr. K Chanakya Kishore practices as a Sr. Interventional Cardiologist, at Premier Hospitals, Hyderabad. He did his MBBS & MD in Kurnool Medical College and D.M in Cardiology from the prestigious All India Institute Of Medical Sciences New Delhi. He is also conferred with FACC in 2017 and FSCA1 in 2019.
He is one of the leading interventional cardiologists in Hyderabad with an immense 17+years of experience in the field. He has performed more than 25,000 procedures and 3000+ PTCAs. He is Expertise in trans-radial and trans ulnar PTCA’s.
About Premier Hospital:
Since the inception of Premier Hospital in 1991 till today, we have grown to unprecedented levels, due to our excellence in medical sciences and healthcare. Premier Hospital is the creation of Dr. Mahesh Marda and when it was first established, was only a small, 30-bed hospital facility. Back then, we provided only secondary care to patients, but that certainly has changed in the present landscape.
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