Ask an Expert

Know Your Numbers

Find out which numbers and levels everyone should know and what they can tell us about our heart health.

  • Does cardiovascular risk differ among different races or ethnicities?

  • Yes. Research from 2012 shows that African-American adults have among the highest rates of hypertension in the world (44% vs. 33.5% of U.S. adults). African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Hispanic/Latino individuals and other ethnic minorities are also disproportionately affected by diabetes, and Mexican-American and African American children are disproportionately affected by overweight and obesity. 

  • How are liprotein-a levels tested?

  • Lipoprotein-a can be measured with a simple blood test, similar to blood tests for other types of cholesterol.
  • How accurate is nutritional information in fast-food and sit-down restaurants?

  • A recent study found that nutritional information is more accurate in fast-food restaurants than sit-down restaurants. Experts suggest that fast-food nutritional information may be more accurate because the food is in exact portion sizes, often in containers. In sit-down restaurants, food is served on a plate with less-regulated portions. They also found that foods with lower-stated caloric content had higher actual caloric content, while foods with higher-stated caloric content had lower actual calorie content. Interestingly, side dishes in sit-down restaurants tended to have more calories than stated, rather than the entrees they accompanied.
  • How often should I see my primary care doctor?

  • Most guidelines suggest that individuals of all ages should see their primary care provider once each year, at a minimum. However, those with family history of conditions, such as heart disease, or pre-existing health conditions may need to see their healthcare provider more often.

Ask an Expert

Please note that every question submitted will not receive a direct response from a Cardiologist. However, we will follow-up with suggested ways to find appropriate information related to your question. Please do not use your last name or any other confidential information in your question.

Meet our Expert

Your questions are answered by more than two dozen members of the American College of Cardiology who volunteer their time with CardioSmart.

Learn more about our volunteers