Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I see a cardiologist annually for a routine evaluation?"
I was wondering if scheduling a check up with a cardiologist once a year was a good idea to help stay on top of my heart health. I am a healthy 29 year old and have no family history of heart disease. There are no symptoms that I am concerned with, but thought that starting annual check ups might be a smart idea to catch any signs of heart disease in the early stages. Is this a good idea or just a waste of money right now?
If you are truly a healthy 29 year old with no medical conditions that you know of and no family history of heart problem, you should follow instead with a primary care physician at least annually for a checkup. A cardiology consultation is necessary when you have a cardiac condition that is diagnosed or if another doctor (or perhaps yourself) suspects a cardiac condition might be present but still not yet diagnosed. Again, please follow with a primary care physician at least annually for a checkup. An annual check-up should always entail your doctor asking you questions about symptoms of heart disease such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and palpitations. Your doctor should also listen to your heart for murmurs. Depending on whether you are a man or a women, you might need to start having your cholesterol checked yearly to make sure that it is not too high. If it gets too high, you will need to make lifestyle (diet and exercise) changes and potentially need to be on a medicine. You will should also have your blood pressure checked every year. Finally, you should get regular (depending on your family history) checks for diabetes. As long as all of these tests are normal, it is unlikely that you need to see a cardiologist.
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