How Lifeline Screening Can Provide a Glimpse into Your Heart Health

Lifeline Screening & Your Heart Health
Lifeline Screening & Your Heart Health

A road trip that has no designated starting point and no map is likely to end up in an unknown or even an undesirable location. Proponents of vascular screenings use the concept as an analogy to indicate the importance of finger stick blood tests and checks for atrial fibrillation. A noninvasive test that is often available in local communities offers a convenient way to find out about the status of the human body. The Peripheral Arterial Disease Screening (PAD) can reveal health information that may suggest the need for lifestyle changes. Neither a driver nor a health-conscious person can know what to do in the absence of information

Understanding the Situation

The LA Times reports that one-fifth of deaths in the United States may stem from poor lifestyle factors and choices1. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that heart disease in the United States causes more death among men and women than any other single condition2. While the stark statistics may seem shocking, they prompt some people to react by taking corrective action. By spending a little time to find out what is going on within the vascular system, they increase the likelihood of changing their lifestyle for the better.

The vascular or circulatory system consists of blood vessels (veins, arteries and capillaries) that transport nutrients and oxygen throughout the body and remove waste. Lymph vessels are a part of the system as well, protecting and maintaining the body’s fluid balance. The condition of the vessels has a vital effect on the respiratory, kidney and digestive systems in addition to regulating the body’s temperature.

The research results show that the simple matter of experiencing cardiovascular screening made a difference to many of the people who took the test. Some people reacted to it by choosing to modify their lifestyles whether the results were good or bad. Just the act of taking the screening test led them to take steps toward potentially improving the status of their health “regardless of the actual testing results.”

Gathering Scientific Data

The survey that produced the vascular screening test collected its information from 3,267 participants who had an appointment with Lifeline Screening for a cardiovascular test3. Most of them were women over the age of 50. For comparison purposes, the survey organizers separated them into two groups to measure differences that taking the test made in their responses to questions. One group received the questionnaire after the vascular screening, and the other answered questions beforehand.

Both groups received the same inquiries about their approach to their health plans currently and in the future as well. Survey organizers evaluated the completed surveys to ascertain participants’ level of determination to change their lifestyles and whether taking the screening affected it. Social scientists consider a “statistically significant difference” as a reliable indicator, and they found it in the results.

The data does not reflect a difference between participants who received a normal, abnormal or critical finding from the screening. However, the survey results indicate that participants who received abnormal or critical findings were more apt to comply with their prescription requirements than those who got a normal result. The most striking conclusion of the study confirms that taking the test was the determining factor in participants’ decisions to make lifestyle changes such as exercising or eating a healthy diet.

Putting the Data to Work

Lifeline Screening, founded in 1993, provides community-based health screenings across the U. S., the United Kingdom and Australia to test for potential threats to health that include atrial fibrillation, PAD, cholesterol count, abdominal aortic aneurysm, diabetes and inflammation.

The Chief Medical Officer at Lifeline Screening, Dr. Andy Manganaro, MD, FACS, FACC, serves as the company’s National Medical Director as well. He started his work as a physician reviewer in 2000, expanding his role to the oversight of all clinical aspects currently. He describes his responsibilities as “ensuring that the quality protocols” establish standards across the company. With more than eight million completed screenings, Lifeline Screening retains a team of board certified professionals who attest to the accuracy of readings as well as test results.

As a cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Manganaro had a first-hand view of the damaging effects of heart disease and the premature death that frequently accompanies it. His experience led him to a desire to assess the population of at-risk patients at an earlier point in their lives than seeing them on an operating table. Explaining the difference between a yearly physical and a Lifeline Screening, he stated that the test goes “deeper than a standard physical.” By using a unique algorithm, the test can assess a person’s “suitability for screening.” Some patients may display no symptoms but have many risk factors that can include diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated levels of cholesterol. Other factors that the algorithm accounts for are age and family history.

Increasing Awareness of Lifestyle Choices

By drawing attention to its readily available screenings, Life Line Screening offers a blog on its website that can help educate viewers about the effects of stress on good health. While it has many benefits in moderation, prolonged stress can produce the opposite. The stress hormone Cortisol is powerful enough to create unhealthy food cravings that result in fat storage, weight gain, high blood pressure and high cholesterol which are the key elements in cardiovascular disease.

Stress seems to affect many areas of the body in addition to the heart. As the engine that powers everything else, it needs to remain strong to keep the vascular and circulatory system in excellent shape as well. Sleep, hair growth, headaches, blood sugar, digestion, blood pressure, stroke, aging, brain tissue, back pain, asthma and seizures relate in some way to stress and subsequently to the heart and vascular system. Lifeline Screening can provide notification that the body needs lifestyle changes that ensure the pursuit of healthy habits through a nutritionally balanced diet and an exercise routine.

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