An all-ages screening guide for men’s heart health – The Observer


Keeping your heart healthy has a major influence on your overall health. While some men may be at greater risk for heart disease than others due to their age, lifestyle, family history, or other factors, adult men of all ages should be aware of their health. cardiovascular, as well as the choices they can make to improve their quality. of life and reduce the risk of heart disease. Screenings are important when it comes to heart health.

An annual physical exam for men 18 and older is recommended. Your primary care provider will measure your blood pressure and your body mass index (BMI), two indicators of general heart health and your risk of disease. If your blood pressure falls outside normal levels or your BMI is too high, your doctor can recommend more frequent screenings and strategies to help you achieve healthier results.

Your BMI is calculated from your height and weight. Since your height doesn’t change much during your adult life, maintaining a healthy weight is important to reaching your BMI goal.

Your blood pressure reading consists of two numbers. The first is systolic blood pressure, which indicates the pressure against your blood vessels when your heart beats. The second number is diastolic blood pressure, which reflects the pressure against your arterial walls as the heart rests between beats. Both numbers are important, but more attention is usually given to systolic blood pressure. It is becoming a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in men over 50. Systolic blood pressure generally increases with age as the arteries become stiffer.

Regardless of your current health, your doctor should also talk to you about your lifestyle habits, including smoking, physical activity, and diet. Smoking is known to have serious adverse health effects, including an increased risk of heart disease, and should be avoided. Maintaining an active lifestyle and choosing a healthy diet (rich in fruits and vegetables and low in sugar and animal products) are also key components of good health at all ages.

Starting at age 35, your healthcare provider will start monitoring your cholesterol levels. It can be checked earlier if you have other health conditions. If it’s normal, you won’t need a recheck for five years. If it’s higher and you have other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, your doctor will likely recommend that you get it checked more often and should help you come up with a plan to improve your results.

Cholesterol is an important substance that your body needs. There are two types of cholesterol: HDL cholesterol is good and LDL cholesterol is bad. Maintaining a healthy ratio is important because too much LDL or too little HDL increases the risk of buildup in the arteries of your heart and brain, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Since your liver produces all the good cholesterol your body needs, it’s important to make lifestyle choices that support a healthy ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol. This may mean being strategic about the foods you eat, as foods from animals contain LDL cholesterol, and fresh fruits and vegetables can lower your LDL levels. Exercising, not smoking, and limiting alcohol intake can also raise your HDL levels and lower your LDL levels.

Later in life, around ages 40 to 64, you should continue to have your cholesterol checked every few years, depending on your health. Your provider may also encourage you to take a closer look at your current risk level for cardiovascular disease.

Men between the ages of 65 and 75 who have smoked at any time in their life should receive an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA screening). An aneurysm refers to an abnormal widening or bloating of the vessel due to weakening of the arterial walls, and a ruptured aneurysm is a serious medical emergency. This screening, which can be as simple as an ultrasound, can help you and your provider determine if you have an aneurysm at risk of rupturing and if you need to consider additional treatment options.

Keeping up to date with annual appointments and medical checkups can aid in early detection and prevention of disease, helping you lead a healthy life.

To make an appointment with Dr. Jonathan Bonilla at Ochsner Health Center – River Parishes, 502 Rue de Santé in LaPlace, please call 985-652-3500 or book an appointment online at


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