How do I find out if I have heart disease?

How do I find out if I have heart disease?

If you think you might have heart disease or risk factors pointing to heart disease, see your doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor will ask you about symptoms and about your medical history and your family’s medical history. The evaluation will include:

  • Measuring your blood pressure
  • Measuring your heart rate
  • Examining your heart and lungs
  • Checking pulses in several areas of your body
  • Checking your eyes for signs of blood vessel disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol

Tests may include an electrocardiogram, also called an ECG or EKG. This gives information about previous heart attacks, poor blood flow to the heart, irregular heartbeats, and other conditions. You may also have blood tests or a chest X-ray. You may be started on medicines.

Further evaluation may include an echocardiogram, also called an echo. This test takes pictures with sound to see how well your heart is beating and whether valves are working properly. You may be scheduled for a stress test using a treadmill or medicines to evaluate your heart when it is working hard.

Your doctor may refer you to a heart specialist (cardiologist) who can help evaluate and treat your problem.

To learn more:

See My Heart
(American Society of Echocardiography)
Here you can learn what an echocardiogram is and how it is used. The actual procedure is explained so you will know what to expect if you are going to have this test.
Heart Disease: Diagnosis & Tests
Many different tests and examinations for heart disease are described at this site. Links to other types of heart disease tests are listed also.

next » How is heart disease treated?

Written by: Doris Wisher, M.L.S.
Reviewed by: Jim Hernandez, L.M.S.W.
Last Modified: Monday October 09, 2017 10:41 AM