Cardiologists: Screening tests can determine your risk of having a heart attack
Doctors tell News 12 there are three screening tests to determine a patient's risk of having a heart attack and potential treatment that go beyond a basic cholesterol or blood pressure check.
One test relies on markers in the blood to give doctors a better understanding of a person's level of lipoprotein A, also known as LPA. Cholesterol travels through the blood on lipoproteins which are made of protein and fat. They cannot be controlled by healthy eating or exercise.
"When we see an elevated cholesterol and an elevated LPA, plaque usually builds up much more quickly. In the past, we didn't have a very good way to treat LPA. We now have newer drugs that are very effective or getting more effective at treating LPA and we're getting more aggressive treating cholesterol levels," says Dr. Steven Kunkes, a cardiologist at Yale New Haven Health.
Cardiologists also rely on imaging tests to screen people who are considered high risk based on genetics. This includes an ultrasound for aortic aneurysms, which detects damage to the body's main artery.
A coronary C-T Calcium Scan is also used by cardiologists to detect hardening of the arteries before symptoms appear.