Posted by: piola | 2006/03/30

Heart check up

I am a 26 years old female and have a slight pain in my chest on the left side near my heart. Heart disease is in my family and I would like to go to the doctor for a check up? What type of checks can I expect him to do? Is it going to be painful? Is there any specific check I should ask him to conduct?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Piola,

Chest pain occurring on one side of the body is seldom due to heart problems, but any pain which persists does warrant investigation.

As you have a family history of heart disease, you should have a complete cardiovascular checkup, including things like pulse rate and pattern chekc, BP, resting and stress ECG, chest x-ray, and a fasting lipogram ( full cholesterol test, including total, LDL, HDL, Tot/HDL ratio, triglycerides). The only uncomfortable thing may be the blood sample, but the rest is pretty routine.

If you smoke, then please quit right now. It is the one factor over which you have total control, and it plays an enormous role in the evolution of heart disease.

Good luck.


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