Men can take lots of steps to be heart-healthy, but many overlook one very important habit: having a regular checkup with a doctor. Think you’re too busy? Think about this: heart disease kills one in four men in the United States, and a lot of men don’t know that they’re at risk.\nEarly treatment can save your life, and regular checkups give you the chance to talk to your doctor about your risks, habits, and how to make heart-healthy choices.\n#Heartdisease kills 1 in 4 men in the US. Don't overlook the importance of a regular checkup. Click To Tweet\nHeart Health Basics\nAll men need to take on \u2013 and keep up \u2013 heart-healthy habits to lower their risks of heart disease and serious medical problems. These include:\n\nEating a heart-healthy diet\nGetting regular exercise\nFinding ways to cope with stress\nQuitting smoking, or not starting in the first place\nHaving a checkup with your doctor each year, and keeping up with health screenings as you age\n\nWhat Is a Heart Screening?\nA screening is a test that gives you basic facts about your health. Heart screenings can take place in your doctor’s office, and many communities have free screenings at health fairs and other events.\nLive in Pittsburgh? Find a Free Heart Screening Near You\nWhat Type of Screening Do I Need?\nIt’s always best to talk to your doctor about which screenings you need. Most men need basic tests to check blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose levels every few years.\nYou might need checkups more often if you have:\n\nA family history of heart disease\nMedical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or obesity\nHabits that raise your risks, like smoking\n\nRELATED: Diabetes and Heart Health: Lowering Your Risks\nIn your 20s & 30s\nGet a checkup each year for your overall health. Talk to your doctor about your family history, your lifestyle, and your risks for heart and vascular disease.\nYour screenings should include:\n\nBody mass index (BMI): starting at age 20, get checked every year\nBlood pressure: starting at age 20, get checked every two years\nCholesterol level: starting at age 20, get checked every six years\n\nRELATED: Can You Lower Cholesterol Without Medication\nIn your 40s and 50s\nEven though you’re busy with work, family, and community activities, it’s important to keep that yearly checkup with your doctor. If you get diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or another condition, talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Even if you don’t have symptoms or start to feel better, stay on your medicines and stick with the diet and activity guidelines your doctor gives you.\nBesides BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol, your screenings should include:\n\nBlood glucose level: starting at age 45, get checked every three years\n\n In your 60s & beyond\nAs you get older, your risks get higher. At your yearly checkup, talk to your doctor about how to keep your risks low and about the symptoms of heart and vascular disease. Chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, and other symptoms can be signs of problems.\nBased on your history and risks, you may need checkups more often. You might also need screenings for:\n\nAbdominal aortic aneurysm: especially if you’ve smoked, get checked starting at age 65\nCarotid artery disease (CAD): to check your risk of blocked or narrowed arteries in your neck, that bring blood to your brain, which can cause stroke\nPeripheral artery disease (PAD): to check your risk of blocked or narrowed arteries in your limbs and pelvis, which can cause symptoms like pain and difficulty walking and can lead to limb loss\n\nBy having your yearly checkup, you can stay in touch with your doctor about your heart and vascular health. Free heart screenings are also offered in many communities, so visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute or call 1-855-UPMC-HVI (876-2484) to learn about upcoming events and heart screenings in your area.\nTo find a UPMC primary care physician near you, call\u00a01-800-533-UPMC, or\u00a0request an appointment online.