Physical assessment

Physical exam 2

An assessment and physical examination may help your doctor decide whether you have a heart problem and if you need other tests.

If you already have heart disease, having an assessment or check-up can help to monitor how you are doing.

During an assessment, your doctor will:

  • ask you about your medical history and your family history
  • ask you questions about your lifestyle, such as whether you smoke
  • listen to your heart and lungs through a stethoscope, and
  • take your blood pressure and pulse.

When you see your doctor, cardiologist or other healthcare professional, it’s not always easy to know what to ask. Reading our quick guide to questions you should read before you see your doctor can help you prepare.

Health checks

Blood pressure assessmentIf you’re over 40, a health check - sometimes called a cardiovascular risk assessment or a heart health assessment - is a test to find out about your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Based on the results of your assessment, your GP or nurse will advise you on what you can do to keep your heart healthy.

Your GP will also consider if you need treatment - such as medicine to protect your heart.

A heart health check includes:

  • asking you questions about your lifestyle - for example, if you smoke, and how much physical activity you do
  • asking you if there is any history of heart disease in your family
  • doing a blood test to measure your cholesterol and sometimes your blood glucose levels
  • measuring your blood pressure
  • having your weight, height and waist measurements taken.

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