In Your 30s

Although most heart conditions are strongly hereditary, they don’t always manifest as early as your twenties, Dr. Elefteriades said. So along with your standard health check, schedule another echocardiogram 10 years after the first one—especially if you’re regularly weight lifting, wrestling, playing football, or participating in any sport with short bursts of activity.

Men older than 35 should also have an electrocardiogram (EKG), which traces the electrical waves of the heart, every 5 years. This test may show evidence of hardening of the heart’s arteries (arthrosclerosis)—a preventable and treatable condition that restricts blood flow and may cause a blood clot.

Your 30s Checklist:

•    30 minutes of exercise five times a week

•    Annual physicals

•    Echocardiogram, 10 years after the first

•    Electrocardiogram (EKG), if older than 35

•    Cholesterol: LDL less than 130 mg/dL and HDL greater than 40 mg/dL

•    Blood pressure: 119/79 mm HG or lower

•    Lipid profile: Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dL

READ: Early Signs You’ll Have A Heart Attack

Michael Clarke Duncan: What Every Black Man Can Do For His Heart  was originally published on

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