Heart Screening

As we all go about our daily routines, it’s easy to forget that our hearts are what keeps us going.  At Providence, we offer a range of precautionary heart screenings to inform patients of their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Our goal is to help you minimize your risk of cardiovascular disease, which is why we urge our patients to receive their screenings before symptoms begin. Whether your screening yields excellent or less than ideal results, our cardiovascular specialists work collaboratively with you to help manage your risk factors and take control of your heart health.

Our teams of cardiovascular experts will help you understand how heart disease can personally affect your body, as well as the risks associated with heart disease and what can be done to reduce them. During a basic heart screening, our clinical experts conduct a:

  • 12-lead electrocardiogram  Blood pressure and heart rate check
  • Body mass index (BMI) check
  • Metabolic syndrome calculation
  • Framingham score calculation
  • Comprehensive cholesterol screening (includes triglycerides, glucose, HDL, LDL, TC and blood sugar)

If necessary, Providence St. Joseph Health also provides an advanced heart health screening that includes:

  • An echocardiogram (heart scan) – Sometimes referred to as an “echo,” this noninvasive test uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to create images of the heart’s valves and chambers. This test helps your doctor check the pumping function of your heart, how your heart is beating, and detect problems in the heart muscle or valves.
  • Stroke / carotid artery screening – A noninvasive test to look for plaques that can cause a stroke.
  • Abdominal aortic screening – A noninvasive test to look for an aneurysm.
  • Peripheral arterial disease screening / ankle-brachial index (ABI) – a test to look for peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This is a measurement of blood flow at the ankle level to check for any blockages that may have developed in the arteries of your legs.
  • Event and Holter Monitors – For suspected arrhythmias that occur less than daily, a patient can wear a device that can allow the heart to be monitored. In Holter monitoring, electrodes are taped to the chest. The wires are connected to a portable, battery-operated recorder that can run for 24 to 48 hours. You can do most normal activities while being tested. The tape is then analyzed on a computer that rapidly identifies rhythm disturbances.

Heart screenings are safe, noninvasive procedures. While there are no risks involved in receiving a precautionary heart screening, failure to do so can be life threatening. More often than not, symptoms of cardiovascular disease do not manifest within the body until it’s too late.