Your annual checkup with your physician may be the first step in detecting an issue with your heart or vascular system. During a standard office visit, you can expect your doctor to check your:
- History: Be prepared to share a complete list of the medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications) and to talk about lifestyle habits that may impact your heart health, such as smoking, alcohol use, diet and exercise.
- Vital signs: Of particular interest are your blood pressure, respiratory rate and heart rate.
- Heart: Using a stethoscope, your physician will listen to your heartbeat to determine if you have an irregular heartbeat, murmur or other issue.
- Breathing: Using a stethoscope, your physician will listen to your lungs, which can sometimes indicate certain types of heart disease.
- Cholesterol: Your physician may request a lipid panel (blood test) to measure your cholesterol levels.