Is Your Heart Healthy?
Author: Matthew Gallo
December 30, 2022
Is Your Heart Healthy?
Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a heart attack. Every 60 seconds, someone in the United States dies from a heart-related event. How is your heart health? Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, accounting for close to a quarter of all deaths. This daunting statistic highlights the importance of spotlighting heart disease, and the ways that we can address risk factors and improve our cardiovascular health.
Heart disease is something that can develop over time, which means you may have some early signs or symptoms before developing serious health problems.
Early signs and symptoms can include:
Shortness of breath
Coughing or wheezing
Swelling in lower extremities
Check your blood pressure
Blood pressure is one of the most important measurements that will be taken by your doctor during a routine exam, and it is also something that you can check yourself with a home monitor. Blood pressure is recorded as two readings:
Systolic pressure (higher reading) – the pressure within the blood vessels as the heart contracts and forces blood out into the arteries
Diastolic pressure (lower reading) – the pressure when the heart fills up with blood again
Your blood pressure changes throughout the day depending on the activities you are performing. High blood pressure can damage your arteries and decrease the flow of blood and oxygen into your heart, which may lead to heart disease.
Check your pulse
Checking your pulse is another important part of heart health checks. Checking your pulse allows you to measure your heart rate (or beats per minute), assess for palpitations, and identify the strength of your pulse.Steps for measuring your heart rate:
- Place your index and middle finger on the inner wrist of your other arm.
- Set a stopwatch to count for 10 seconds.
- While feeling for your pulse, notice whether the rhythm is evenly spaced or not.
- Once you feel your pulse, count the number of pulses you feel for 10 seconds.
- Multiply the number of pulses by 6 to find your heart rate for one minute
Effects of Cholesterol
Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease in the United States. It is caused by a plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This plaque buildup is created by deposits of cholesterol and other substances in the artery. The plaque buildup causes the artery to narrow, which can restrict or completely block the flow of blood into the heart.
Testing total cholesterol is one precautionary action your doctor may take to measure your risk of heart disease. Total cholesterol is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol in your blood, including low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL). For those looking to take control of their own health and wellness, Inspire Wellness@Home offers an at-home Heart Health test, which measures cholesterol and other factors that can help indicate early signs of heart disease. Inspire Wellness@Home offers health and wellness laboratory testing that provides the same quality of results you’d expect from your doctor’s office, right at home. Learn more about your health and discover our full line of health and wellness tests by viewing our product page.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.