Life Line Screening (LLS), a national health screening initiative, will be operating a clinic at the Langdon Activity Center on Tuesday, September 29.
Posted on 9/26/15
By Melissa Anderson
Across the United States, at least 200,000 deaths each year are from heart disease and stroke which could have been prevented. The key is early detection and managing risk factors. One of the ways that early detection of the diseases occurs is when LLS conducts life saving screening tests throughout the United States .
“We have screened approximately 8 million people,” Joelle Reizes, Director of Corporate and Brand Communications at Life Line Screening and Life Line Community Healthcare, said.
As people age, the arteries can become partially blocked by plaque in the blood. This plaque build up reduces blood flow to major organs such as the brain, heart, and in the abdomen which can be dangerous if left untreated.
Core screenings focus on cardiovascular disease or the detection of atherosclerosis, the fatty plaque that can build up in the arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes. The screenings use ultrasound to visualize the inside of the body and look for plaque in three key places: the neck where the carotid arteries are located, the abdomen for an abdominal aortic aneurysm, and the lower legs for peripheral arterial disease.
The technicians can also check for atrial fibrillation, the most common heart arrhythmia, as well as blood pressure. Another service that can be provided is an osteoporosis risk assessment.
“We also offer a host of laboratory screenings for things like cholesterol, glucose, thyroid dysfunction and kidney disease,” Reizes said.
Costs for the screenings vary depending on what a patient selects. Individual screenings range from $60 to $70, but LLS also offers packages that have significant savings. These packages of screenings are based on individual needs. These needs take into account risk factors, family and medical history, and personal preferences.
“Most people spend between $150 and $200,” Reizes said.
Prospective patients should note that the screenings are not typically covered by insurance or Medicare. Some of the screenings could be covered by Medicare if provided through the candidates doctor, such as a one-time “Welcome to Medicare” screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm for men aged 65 to 75 who have smoked at least one hundred cigarettes in their lifetime. LLS recommends those candidates check with their doctor.
These screenings are not typically covered by insurance because LLS focuses on screening people who are in the right target age group and who have risk factors but are asymptomatic.
“In other words, we screen people who are at risk but not yet sick. We believe that this is the appropriate window to implement the best medical treatment, lifestyle changes or (if necessary) surgical intervention to stop serious problems from progressing. Our medical system focuses on treating people once they are already sick,” Reizes stated.
The most common risk factors that warrant a screening include being age 55 or older, a family history of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco usage either in the past or currently, obesity, diabetes, and if you are male as this gender has a higher risk of cardiovascular related diseases.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death throughout the world. In fact, chronic diseases such as those that are screened have now outpaced infectious diseases at the number one killer. In the US, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability.
If you are interested in participating in the LLS screening, registration is recommended as space is limited.
“We can see up to 90 people at an event,” Reizes stated.
Registration can be done by phone at 1-800-697-9721 or online at www.lifelinescreening.com.