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The High Performance Journal

6 Health Tests That Could Save Your Life

high performance journal Mar 26, 2024

Read time: 3.8 minutes

The High Performance Journal - March 26th, 2024


One of my big life goals is to live to 100 years or older.

While this may seem far-fetched it feels like it could be a reality as the science of longevity evolves.

Now the reason I want to live this long is because I got started late as a dad. I had my first daughter at 40 years old and my second daughter at 43.

I love them dearly and want to give myself a chance to see them hit their major life milestones all while running circles around my future grandchildren.

If I want to get there I must remind myself that longevity is about things you do as well as the things you avoid​.

A huge part is preventing the 4 horsemen of disease for as long as possible:

Coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's

With that said, there are 6 tests that I recommend to everyone over the age of 35 so they can get clear about their risks (or lack thereof).

Note: This list doesn't account for the basic blood tests you'd get from a doctor such as blood pressure and blood sugar. You still want to get those tests done as they are a part of living an overall long quality of life.

 

6 Health Tests Everyone Should Get Over The Age Of 35


#1 - C
oronary Calcium Scan

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women, resulting in the death of 1 in 5 people (1).

A coronary calcium scan helps assess the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and future cardiovascular events.

They do this by using a CT scan to measure the amount of calcium buildup in the coronary arteries. This will indicate potential plaque accumulation.

Higher calcium scores suggest an increased risk for coronary disease and testing can help with early interventions and lifestyle changes to prevent heart attacks or strokes.

Also, if you have a strong family history of early coronary artery disease you want to get this test as your risk for heart attacks is higher than most.

#2 - Cancer screening

About ten million people die from cancer every year (2), making it the cause of around 1 in 6 deaths and one of the largest health problems globally.

Regular screenings can help identify cancer before symptoms appear, which increases the likelihood of successful treatment and potentially saves lives.

Early detection could also mean less aggressive treatment and a better prognosis as it can identify precancerous conditions, which can be treated before they progress to cancer.

Ultimately, cancer screenings play a crucial role in living a long life by aiding in the early detection and management of cancer, which can enhance the chances of survival and improve overall quality of life.

#3 - Colonoscopy

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide (3)

A colonoscopy is a test for detecting colorectal cancer early when treatment is most effective.

It visualizes the entire colon, enabling the detection and removal of precancerous growths (polyps) before they become cancerous.

Regular screenings usually start at age 50 and help mitigate the risk of developing colorectal cancer by detecting abnormalities early.

A colonoscopy can also diagnose gastrointestinal conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal bleeding.

While it's an invasive procedure, the benefits of early cancer detection and prevention outweigh the risks, making colonoscopies an essential tool in maintaining colon health and preventing cancer-related death.

#4 - ApoB Cholesterol Test

A basic lipid panel measures cholesterol levels, aiding in the assessment of cardiovascular risk (6)

High cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, leading causes of mortality worldwide (4). Testing your lipids can help identify abnormal lipid levels, enabling early intervention through lifestyle changes or medication.

An ApoB cholesterol test measures the amount of a certain type of protein on the surface of cholesterol called apolipoprotein B-100 (ApoB) in your blood.

ApoB protein moves fat throughout the body and helps it to get through the walls of arteries, where it forms plaque. When this happens, it increases the risk of heart disease and stroke (5).

Ultimately, this test serves as a tool to prevent CVD through early detection.

#5 - DEXA Scan

An actual DEXA scan from one of our High Performance Founder coaching clients.


A DEXA scan serves 2 important purposes in helping you live a long life:

The first is that a DEXA is the most accurate way to test your body fat, lean tissue (muscle), and visceral fat. In short, it can give you an overall picture of your metabolic health.

Visceral fat is the fat that resides near your organs making it the most dangerous fat in your body (7) and the less you have in your body the healthier you'll be.

The second purpose of a DEXA is to test your bone density, which is crucial for diagnosing osteoporosis and preventing the risk of fracture.

Falling is the leading cause of accidental death in the elderly as well as the leading cause of injury (8).

Getting an annual DEXA helps you test both your bone density and body composition making it one of the most important tests for overall health and longevity.

#6 - Brain Imaging

Brain imaging using an MRI helps detect structural abnormalities and can help diagnose the potential for neurological conditions like Alzheimer's, dementia, tumors, and strokes.

This is particularly important for people over the age of 50 as it will detect any age-related changes, which can ensure optimal brain health and quality of life through early detection and intervention.

One thing to keep in mind is that this type of scan is expensive compared to the others ranging from anywhere between $400 to $3,500 or more per scan.

Important Note:

These tests can seem a bit scary and that's understandable.

This is why I will always remind you that one of the most effective ways to prevent disease is by having healthy body fat levels​ and healthy levels of muscle​ in your body.

It won't guarantee complete protection from the 4 horsemen of disease but it helps immensely.

That said, you still want to get these tests done regularly to stack the cards in your favor so you can a life free of disease.

Conclusion

The best strategy to live longer is to focus on prevention.

This is why we must screen for health problems before they happen. If you're healthy then great. If not then the earlier we can detect what's wrong the faster we can move to making them right.

My goal for you is to live a long quality life and these tests will go a long way to making that happen.

Onwards and upwards 🚀

- Dan


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References

  1.  â€‹https://www.who.int/health-topics/cardiovascular-diseases​ 
  2.  â€‹https://ourworldindata.org/cancer​ 
  3.  â€‹https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/colorectal-cancer​ 
  4.  â€‹https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm​ 
  5. Ahmad M, Sniderman AD, Hegele RA. Apolipoprotein B in cardiovascular risk assessment. CMAJ. 2023 Aug 28;195(33):E1124. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.230048. PMID: 37640407; PMCID: PMC10462411.
  6. German CA, Shapiro MD. Assessing Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk with Advanced Lipid Testing: State of the Science. Eur Cardiol. 2020 Jul 15;15:e56. doi: 10.15420/ecr.2019.18. PMID: 32742310; PMCID: PMC7387892.
  7. Finelli C, Sommella L, Gioia S, La Sala N, Tarantino G. Should visceral fat be reduced to increase longevity? Ageing Res Rev. 2013 Sep;12(4):996-1004. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2013.05.007. Epub 2013 Jun 11. PMID: 23764746. 
  8.  â€‹https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.html#:~:text=Falls%20are%20common%20and%20costly,death%20in%20this%20age%20group.

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