Every year in the United States, approximately 2.6 million people die. Around seven out of 10 of those deaths are attributed to chronic diseases1–and many of those chronic diseases can be prevented or managed effectively when detected and addressed early. With this in mind, the importance of preventive health screenings can’t be emphasized enough. That’s especially true considering that by the time many serious health problems become evident, a person’s life is at risk; heart attacks are a prime example of this. Increasingly, people are becoming aware of the benefits of proactively undergoing health screens for heart health problems, and Life Line Screening is making the process easier than ever.
You Maintain Your Car–Why Not Yourself?
When we invest in something that is valuable and important, we generally do our best to protect it and keep it in good shape. Cars are a great example; with routine, preventive maintenance, they last longer, perform better and are less likely to result in costly repair bills. People often don’t realize it, but the same concept applies to their own health. One could argue that eating well and exercising are forms of routine maintenance, but what about diagnostic tests? These can detect serious problems long before they get to that point, so they are incredibly valuable.
Cardiovascular Disease in the United States
To understand why companies like Life Line Screening are doing such important work, it helps to consider how prevalent heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases are in this country.
For example, in 2011 alone, more than 787,000 people died from heart disease2. This total exceeds deaths from all forms of cancer put together. Every year, 380,000 Americans die from coronary heart disease3. Approximately 720,000 heart attacks happen each year in this country, with around 515,000 being first heart attacks and around 205,000 being second or subsequent.
Approximately 8.5 million people in the United States have peripheral artery disease (PAD), including 12-20% of individuals over the age of 60. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the US, killing nearly 129,000 people a year, while abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) account for over 15,000 preventable deaths each year5.
New Study Reveals Surprising Benefit of Preventive Screenings
Some of the benefits of preventive health screenings have been known for some time. For example, they can be used to detect diseases early on before they spiral into more serious health risks. They are also great for identifying health risk factors. A recent study published in the Journal of Community Medicine and Health Education revealed yet another fairly surprising benefit: People who undergo health screenings tend to be more motivated to make lifestyle changes to improve or protect their health.
It is sometimes said that preventive screenings are largely useless because people who voluntarily undergo them tend to be the “worried well,” meaning that they worry a lot about their health but are generally fine. In other words, these tests are sometimes driven by anxiety. However, the study showed that the motivation to improve one’s lifestyle and health occurred whether the screening revealed good news or bad news. The simple act of going in and having a screening done–and seeing and absorbing the results–appears to give people the shot in the arm that they need to get serious about their health.
The study involved approximately 3,200 people–mostly women above the age of 50–that were split into two groups. One group was surveyed after undergoing Life Line Screening health screenings; the other was surveyed beforehand. Both groups were then asked a series of questions about their current and future health objectives. Overwhelmingly, those who had undergone screenings were motivated to modify their lifestyles. Those who got good news were just as likely to do so. Those whose results were abnormal or critical were more likely to closely follow their doctor’s orders, which improves their odds of recovery.
About Life Line Screening Tests
Since cardiovascular disease is such a serious health risk in the U.S. and across the world, vascular screenings like those that are offered by Life Line Screening (@life_line) are invaluable tools for anyone who wants to lead long, healthy lives. These screenings are largely non-invasive, and they are typically completed in a matter of minutes. Life Line Screening assesses customers to determine which tests would help them the most. They do this by taking things like the person’s medical history, family medical history, age and other factors into account.
All Life Line Screening tests are developed and designed by physicians, and they are administered by experienced health care professionals. Little to no preparation is required in most cases, and results are often available in a few minutes. Otherwise, they are usually in the mail within 15 days. Customers can then not only examine their results but share them with their doctors to make more informed decisions.
Types of Vascular Screening Tests
Life Line Screening offers a number of vascular screening tests that quickly assess heart health. These screening tests are already revolutionizing the way in which patients manage their health. As evidenced by the study mentioned above, these screenings also appear to motivate people to make positive lifestyle changes for better health in the future.
Some of these tests include:
- Ultrasound Screenings – From ankle-brachial index screening, which assesses risk of peripheral arterial disease, to abdominal aortic aneurysm screening and carotid artery disease screening, ultrasound screenings can reveal a lot about heart health.
- Finger-Stick Blood Screenings – With a few drops of blood from a simple prick of the finger, Life Line Screening can perform complete lipid panels to assess your cholesterol levels, which directly impact heart health. This can also be used to screen for levels of C-reactive protein, or CRP, which can be an indicator of certain heart problems.
- Limited Electrocardiograph Screenings – This quick, non-invasive test is used to detect atrial fibrillation. Known also as irregular heartbeat, this condition can be a risk factor for things like blood clots, heart failure and stroke.
Founded in 1998 and based in Austin, Texas, Life Line Screening performs more than 1 million preventive health screenings every year. To date, the company has conducted more than 8 million screenings. It stands to reason that a good percentage of those who have undergone such screenings went on to make positive lifestyle changes, so it’s safe to say that Life Line Screening is paving the way to a healthier future for all.