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Senior or Athlete Heart Attacks: Who Benefits From a Heart Health Scan?

Your patient’s heart health is not something to take lightly, so counseling patients on how to make wise daily choices that promote heart health is vital. Good counseling includes discussing with your patients the importance of routine heart scans, especially for patients that are over the age of 40 or have health concerns that put them at a higher risk for developing heart disease.  


Keep reading to learn more about who should have routine heart health scans done and the overall benefits of heart scans.


Who Should Get Heart Health Scans?

Heart scans are ultrasounds that look at your heart to determine any abnormalities such as narrowing of the arteries, or if there’s calcium detected in a patient’s heart. They detect heart disease or identify potential risk factors for patients developing heart disease. 


Some people need to get heart health scans more than others. The Mayo Clinic says that men 50-60 years old and women 60-70 years old have a moderate risk of developing heart disease and benefit from routine heart health scans. 


Patients between the ages of 35 and 40 can get heart health scans as a precaution, though it’s not a necessity. If they choose to have heart scans done, it can be beneficial to determine issues that could lead to heart disease if left untreated. Patients that are 40 years and older with one or more of the  following health concerns/issues are recommended to have routine heart scans:

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Poor diet


One or more of the concerns listed above put patients at a higher risk of heart disease, so they should be encouraged to make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk. 


Athletes are the second population that benefits from having heart health scans done to determine abnormalities in their hearts. While you may not think of young, healthy athletes as at risk for heart disease, they are at risk of sudden athletic heart attacks if there are abnormalities in their hearts that have gone undetected. One condition is called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). If detected, HCM can be manageable, but if left unmanaged, it could lead to sudden heart attacks. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy rarely presents with symptoms to identify a problem, so heart scans are done as a precaution with the goal of early detection and preventing athlete heart attacks.


How Heart Health Scans Work and Why They Are Imperative

Heart scans are quick and painless procedures done with an ultrasound to look at a patient’s heart. They check for heart disease or risks of developing heart disease. 


Routine ultrasounds of the heart and arteries are important to a patient’s health because narrowing or blocked arteries happen over time. This can be a good thing, because if patients are having routine heart health scans done, then they will be able to identify the narrowing of the arteries or detect calcium in their heart before it’s a serious problem that can’t be easily corrected or managed. 


Patients that are older or are at a higher risk of heart disease due to lifestyle choices or family history benefit greatly from routine heart health scans. After getting a heart health scan, they can make lifestyle changes that promote a healthy heart and reduce their risk of a heart attack. Who wouldn’t want to help their patients prevent a serious heart issue?


Whether you’re trying to prevent senior or athlete heart attacks, the routine scan doesn’t take long and doesn’t require much from your patients.


Partner with Vasolabs to provide routine health heart scans to your patients

While heart health scans are helpful, they shouldn’t be conducted in isolation and should be utilized as part of a holistic heart health evaluation for each patient.

At Vasolabs, we care about providing physicians like you with on-site cardiac testing so that you can care for your patients well. Heart health scans are one way that you can provide your patients with holistic care that prioritizes early detection and prevention of heart attacks in athletes, seniors, or the general public. Contact us today to learn more about partnering with us and how to get started.


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