In Your 50s

Fifty is the typical age when some men can develop coronary heart disease, according to Dr. Topol. The prevention prescription? An exercise stress test. This test, sometimes called a treadmill test, monitors how well your heart handles work. As you walk or pedal on an exercise machine, the electrical activity of your heart and your blood pressure are measured. As your body works harder during the test, it requires more oxygen, so the heart must pump more blood.

The test will help pick up subtle arteriosclerosis (blockage of the coronary arteries), and determine the cause of any chest pain and the exercise capacity of your heart. A stress test isn’t a necessary for men younger than fifty unless you have a strong family history of heart disease, according to Dr. Elefteriades.

Your 50s Checklist:

•    30 minutes of exercise five times a week

•    Annual physicals

•    Echocardiogram, 10 years after your last one

•    EKG, 5 years after your last one

•    Exercise stress test

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

•    Blood pressure: 119/79 mm HG or lowe

•    Lipid profile: Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dL

•    C-reactive protein: Less than 1 mg per liter

READ: Baldness & Heart Disease: Is There A Connection?

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

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