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Vascular Screening: Tests for Cardiovascular Disease

Emory Decatur Hospital and Emory Hillandale offer a comprehensive program for Atlanta-based vascular screening to detect cardiovascular disease in the vascular system, a complex distribution network of veins and arteries that delivers oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body. Cardiovascular disease can be caused by many things, including high LDL or “bad” cholesterol, low HDL or “good” cholesterol, high blood pressure or smoking, or it may be genetic. This damage, if not detected by vascular screening tests and treated early, could result in severe health issues, such as heart attack or stroke.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one health problem in this country today. More than half of Americans will die from complications of cardiovascular disease. On average, one American dies every 33 seconds from heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders. Unfortunately, the majority of people with cardiovascular disease are unaware of their problem until severe complications or death occur. Vascular screening can lead to quick diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease and the severe health issues that can result if the condition is left untreated. Cardiovascular disease is a systemic disease that affects the heart and arteries in the body. It is called coronary artery disease (CAD) when the heart is involved and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) when it involves the other arteries in the body such as the arms, legs, kidneys, intestines and the brain.

We provide extensive treatment for vascular disease and can help you identify common signs and symptoms of vascular disease to treat conditions early.

Types of Vascular Screening Tests

We provide three vascular screening tests at the Atlanta-based Heart and Vascular Institute to determine whether a patient suffers from cardiovascular disease.

Abdominal Aortic Scan – Your aorta is the largest artery in your body. It starts at your heart and travels down through your body. A swelling or enlargement of your aorta in your stomach area is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). If it ruptures, it can cause serious damage. DeKalb Medical’s Atlanta vascular screening services for an abdominal aortic aneurysm are quick, painless and non-invasive.

Carotid Artery Test – This type of cardiovascular disease is located in the carotid arteries, found on either side of your neck, which carry blood to your brain. If a sticky substance called plaque builds up in these arteries, it can either block blood flow to your brain or break off and travel to the brain, causing a stroke. Like most vascular screening services, carotid artery disease screening is quick, painless and non-invasive.

Ankle-Brachial IndexPeripheral vascular disease (PVD) is caused by a build-up of plaque in the arteries to your lower extremities. This build-up decreases the blood flow to the muscles and tissues of your legs and feet and can cause pain, numbness and tissue death. Like most vascular screening tests, peripheral vascular disease screening is painless, quick and non-invasive.

Are You At Risk?

There are many factors that can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease. Some of these include:

Family history of stroke or TIAs (mini strokes), abdominal aortic aneurysm or peripheral vascular disease

  • Age (over 50)
  • Male
  • African-American
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • A sedentary lifestyle (no exercise)

To find out if you are at risk, read more about risk factors for vascular disease or take our Heart Risk Assessment.

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