What is the objective of preventive health screenings?

Preventive health screenings are an affordable, convenient, and effective way to understand your risk for developing many chronic health conditions. For most people, getting preventive screenings before they develop any symptoms makes sense, because that is when you have the ability to work with your doctor to mitigate the risk that has been identified. Preventive screening is an important step to keep you independent and active for as long as possible.

Why is it important to get preventive health screenings?

Preventive health screenings use modern, up-to-date medical technology to identify potential problems before you have symptoms. For instance, the carotid artery ultrasound screening is the same safe ultrasound that is used with pregnant women, only it is used to look inside your carotid arteries. The screening tech will measure the rate the blood flows through your arteries, which is affected by the presence of plaque. Plaque in the carotid arteries is a major risk factor for stroke, because it can break off and travel to the brain, or if it completely blocks blood flow, the brain becomes deprived of oxygen.

Many common illnesses are silent in the early stages of development: cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, abdominal aortic aneurysm, and atrial fibrillation to name a few. Think of it this way: preventive screenings help you learn what your body is NOT telling you.

Early detection of risk for stroke and cardiovascular disease enables you to work with your doctor to develop an action plan, with the goal of preventing chronic disease. Some risk factors you can control: smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and being physically active, for instance. Some risk factors you cannot control, like your age or your family history of stroke and heart disease. Preventive screenings provide powerful information, enabling you to have even more knowledge regarding your risk. And knowledge is power.