Knowing when and how to go about getting heart checks is becoming even more important since the high volume of at risk people with ‘faulty genes’ was revealed. The faulty gene and inherited genes greatly increase the probability of a person developing heart disease or sudden death. According to the HSE it is estimated that over 5,000 people die of sudden cardiac death in Ireland every year. This sudden death mostly occurs in middle-aged persons and over however there are a number of people under 40 years that also fall victim to it.
Sudden cardiac death is largely a result of undiagnosed heart disease and conditions. In order to understand the risk of having a heart condition it is key to look at any family member that has an inherited heart condition as well as reviewing family history of sudden or premature deaths. It is strongly suggested that if there is any indication of these within a family that necessary tests be carried out. As well as looking at family history when deciding to be tested, symptoms may be indicators of heart disease such as dizzy spells, heart palpitations and blackouts.
The primary test conducted by doctors in Ireland and across the world is called an ‘electrocardiogram test’ or and ECG to inspect the electrical activity of the heart. This test is non-invasive and simply uses small metal electrodes (stickers) placed over the chest and connect to the ECG machine. The hearts electrical impulses are tracked by the machine and provide the electrical activity of the heart. After recording this a cardiologist then reviews the ECG to determine the health of the heart.
Other tests can also be undertaken such as an Echocardiogram which is done through ultrasound to physically look at the structure of the heart.
It is important to be aware of these tests and the ease in which they can be done. The sooner a ‘faulty gene’ or inherited condition is identified the better it will be for adopting to healthy and essential lifestyle changes. Depending on the condition people can be monitored and drug treatments may be available as well as being fitted with a defibrillator to release electrical shocks that ensure the heart rhythm returns to normal.
Healthcare Screening Ireland provide ECG testing as part of our extensive range of health screening services and work with one of Ireland’s leading cardiologists Dr. Ciara Kelly.
The benefits of health screening can be felt by both the employer and the employee alike. Health screening is an effective way of increasing employee morale, and leads to reduced sickness and levels of absenteeism.
Smoking Cessation Programmes, Carbon Monoxide Lung Analysis, Cardiovascular Risk Assessment, Alcohol Awareness/Risk Assessment, Spirometry, Celiac Testing, Weight and Stress Management.