What happens during a heart health screening?

A heart health screening is an important way to identify anything abnormal about your heart health and connect you with treatment if you need it. WISEWOMAN offers free heart health screenings (including cholesterol and blood sugar tests, and blood pressure checks) and healthy lifestyle services to eligible women. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, yet many women have no symptoms until the disease has progressed.

What to expect during your heart health test

  • You will complete a health questionnaire either before your visit or during your visit with help from the staff. The questionnaire asks about your eating habits, physical activity and history of heart disease.
  • You will have your height, weight and blood pressure measured.
  • Your provider will also take blood through a finger prick or needle to test for cholesterol and blood sugar.
  • You will also have your blood pressure checked with a blood pressure arm cuff.
  • Following these tests, you will sit with a staff member to discuss your questionnaire and results. You may discuss options to make healthy changes. Depending on your test results, you may also be referred to a primary care physician for additional evaluation and assistance.
  • After the screening visit is completed, you will be offered one or more services to help you make healthy lifestyle changes.

Tips to help you prepare for your heart health tests

  • You may or may not need to fast to prepare for your blood sugar screening. Check with your provider before your visit about fasting requirements.
  • While you are having your blood pressure checked you should:
    • Be seated and relaxed with your feet flat on the floor.
    • Have a properly fitting blood pressure cuff placed on your bare arm (if possible).
    • Have an empty bladder.
    • Not have smoked or had caffeine within 2 hours.
    • Avoid talking while the cuff is inflated.

Additional healthy lifestyle services

All participating WISEWOMAN clinics will offer at least one of the following:

  • Health Coaching: Health coaches can help women change their behaviors to get healthy. During health coaching, women work collaboratively, one-on-one with their health coach to work on skills in areas such as physical activity, nutrition, weight loss, tobacco cessation or medication management. Health coaching can help people make lasting changes for improved health and may be provided by health educators, licensed nurses, midwives, dieticians, medical assistants or community health workers.
  • National Diabetes Prevention Program: The Diabetes Prevention Program is a nationally recognized program for individuals at risk for developing diabetes. The program focuses on nutrition, physical activity, and stress reduction.
  • Cooking Matters: As part of the national No Kid Hungry campaign, Cooking Matters Colorado empowers families at risk of hunger with the skills, knowledge and confidence to shop for and prepare healthy, affordable meals.