Heart and Vascular Health Heart Screenings Can Save Your Life By Heart and Vascular Institute, January 4, 2015 Did you know that a heart screening could save your life? By finding out some basic facts about your health, you can learn about your risk for heart disease – a leading cause of death in the United States – and how to keep your heart healthy over time. Heart screenings measure key aspects of your health that affect your heart, like : Blood pressure Cholesterol levels Body mass index Blood Pressure High blood pressure has no symptoms, but is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. During a heart screening, you can learn if your blood pressure is normal (120/80 mm Hg or lower), and what you can to do treat it if it’s high. Cholesterol Just like high blood pressure, high cholesterol doesn’t have any symptoms. A heart screening can check the levels of both HDL (“good”) and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in your blood, which also affects your heart health. Ideal total cholesterol is 200 or lower. Body Mass Index Body mass index (BMI) measures body fat, based on your height and weight. On average, a healthy BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. If your BMI is greater, your risk of heart disease is also greater. Upcoming Heart Screening Events Visit UPMC.com/CheckYourHeart for upcoming free heart screening events.