Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Three smart heart tests for women

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Women are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. That's why it's even more important today to prevent one of the leading causes of death among women: heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women over 65.

While most of the risk factors, signs and symptoms are the same in women as they are in men, there are unique aspects to women's heart health that are different, so it's important to get tested. And though many tests measure cardiac health, some are better at detecting disease in women.

According to MORE magazine (Sept. 2007), these are the tests that you should be asking for and why:

  • Stress echocardiogram -- A stress echocardiogram uses ultrasound to show the heart's motion at rest and at peak exercise and is more accurate for women than conventionsl stress testing, which can lead to false positives in women.

  • A CT scan for coronary calcification -- This non-invasive test can detect calcium buildup before it starts to significantly narrow the arteries. That's exspecially important for women, who don't develop plaque as early or as extensively as men.
  • Screening vascular ultrasound -- This test can identify patients with cardiovascular disease before they show any symptoms. The test may even be able to detect problems in women who were cleared by other traditional methods of measuring heart disease.
Even with all the statistics, most women still don't believe that they are personally at risk ... but the truth is that the older a woman gets, the more likely she is to get heart disease. Remember: The idea behind testing isn't to diagnose heart disease but rather to help prevent it.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

This page was very helpful. Thanks