My dad has a history of heart disease, and I’m worried about my own health. I eat a pretty balanced diet, and exercise regularly, but at what age do I really need to start seeing a doctor to check in with him about my heart health?
Everyone—not just those with heart disease in their families—should be getting regular checkups that include measurements of blood pressure and at least a baseline cholesterol level. These are key indicators of heart health and if either is above normal you should take steps to get them down, no matter how old (or young) you are. Exercising regularly, avoiding obesity, and not smoking are the best things you can do for your heart. You might also benefit from a small daily dose of aspirin, but that’s a decision only your doctor should make since aspirin can also be hard on your stomach.