1. Duplex Ultrasound
A duplex ultrasound uses B-mode imaging to examine the carotid arteries. This allows a 3D image of your artery walls to be created. Additionally, it will also create a pulsed Doppler scan, which will measure the speed of blood flow through the arteries.
The procedure itself is fairly simple, as a technician only needs to move an ultrasound probe over your carotid arteries. You should take this test if you're over 50, have experienced symptoms of a mini-stroke, or have other risk factors for stroke or heart disease.
2. High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein Test
This test measures your blood protein levels for a particular type of protein that is associated with inflammation, and which is known to increase the risk of stroke and heart disease.
The procedure itself consists of a simple blood test. You should take it if you're over 35, have a family history of heart disease or stroke, or have at least one major risk factor for stroke or heart disease.
3. Homocysteine Test
A homocysteine test will scan your blood for homocysteine, an amino acid which is known to cause a build-up of plaque in the arteries.
To take this test, you will need to fast for at least 8 hours before going for a blood test. You should get it done if you're over 35 and have at least one major risk factor for stroke or heart disease.
4. Electron Beam Computed Tomogram
If you're worried about heart disease, then getting this test done may give you some peace of mind. This is because an electron beam computed tomogram measures calcium levels in your coronary arteries, which have been linked to heart disease.
To take this test, an imaging machine needs to scan your chest, in order to create pictures of your internal organs. You should ask for this test if you're over 35 and have at least two major risk factors for heart disease.
5. Fasting Blood Glucose Test
This test measures the amount of glucose that is present in your blood, which can help determine your risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
To take this test, you will need to fast for 8 to 12 hours before going for a blood test. You should get it done if you're over 30 and have any risk factors for diabetes, such as a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, or have a family history of diabetes.
6. Isotope Treadmill Stress Test
This test will help to identify the location and degree of severity of reduced blood flow to the heart, by mapping 3D images of your heart at rest, during exercise, and after exercise.
Doctors recommend taking this test if you are over 45, are planning to begin a vigorous aerobic exercise program, or have 3 or more risk factors for heart disease.
7. DEXA Scan
A DEXA scan examines your bone mass density in order to work out how strong your bones are, as well as what your risk of osteoporosis is.
To carry out a DEXA scan, you simply need to lie down on a padded platform, while an image scanner slowly passes over your entire body. You should get one done if you're over 50 and have at least 2 risk factors for osteoporosis, such as excessive caffeine or alcohol use, smoking, a family history of osteoporosis, or a diet low in vitamin D or calcium.
When you undergo a colonoscopy, your doctor will pass a colonoscope up your entire colon in order to search for early signs of cancer, abnormal growths, and inflammation in the colon.
The exam takes between 15 and 30 minutes and you should be given a sedative to keep you comfortable. All persons over 50 should get a colonoscopy done, as well as everyone over 40 who have risk factors such as excessive alcohol use, smoking, a family history of colon cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease.