It is never too late to start having routine heart check-up appointments with a private cardiologist. Heart check-ups are important for identifying underlying heart problems and assessing the risk of cardiovascular problems in the future. But at what age should you start getting regular heart checkups?
What is the recommended age to start heart health checks?
The NHS offers routine health checks at five-year intervals for everyone over the age of 40. Heart health is assessed during these health checks and the risk of cardiovascular diseases is established. Many people in the UK, therefore, believe that 40 is the recommended age at which to have routine heart checkups.
However, in the US it is generally accepted that people should start getting healthy heart checks from the age of 20, and this is the advice from the American Heart Association. Keep in mind that as a public healthcare system the NHS cannot always provide routine health checkups as frequently as necessary to identify underlying problems. By visiting a private cardiologist, you can have a heart check-up performed far more regularly and at a much younger age to give you peace of mind that you’re doing everything you can to keep your heart healthy.
Start check-ups earlier if you’re at higher risk
Some people are at a higher risk of heart health problems and they should therefore begin having heart checkups at a younger age than the average person. If you have a strong family history of heart problems – for example, if a parent or sibling has a cardiovascular disease – you could be at increased risk of the same problems. Regular heart check-ups will identify any symptoms or early warning signs. If there’s a family history of sudden death or cardiomyopathy, it’s also wise to start getting heart health checks at a young age.
Professional athletes should undergo heart check-ups regularly, no matter their age, because intense physical activity puts lots of strain on the cardiovascular system. The same goes for amateur athletes who are set to embark on extremely physically challenging activities, such as long-distance running.
If you have any known health problems that could impact your heart, such as uncontrolled hypertension or high cholesterol, it’s never too soon to get a heart check-up. Similarly, you should get regular heart checks if lifestyle factors put you at an increased risk of cardiovascular problems, such as if you are a smoker, you are overweight, or you live a very sedentary lifestyle.
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