September Is Vascular Disease Awareness Month

In honor of Vascular Disease Awareness month you may want to get your heart looked at. 

Avera's Planet Heart screening can help determine your risk of heart disease and other life-threatening conditions with heart and vascular screenings.

Planet Heart screenings are typically done with one person at a time, but Tom and Teresa Miller wanted to do it together. 

"Then you can address it more as a couple, kind of talk over your results together and it just makes it a little easier," Tom Miller said. 

The couple first went through the screening together in 2009.  They're back for round two because they know just how important it is to stay on top of your health. 

"Our oldest son, right around the age of 29 was diagnosed with a heart condition. So, you can imagine heart disease and heart health is really top of mind for us," Teresa Miller said. 

The screening is designed to identify heart disease early, and discover existing risk factors. 

"All the numbers that we get, they're all different risk factors and we want to keep the risk factors as low as possible. So within the guidelines. So, cholesterol, we want their total cholesterol to be less than 200, 180 is even better," Lisa Miller said. 

Respiratory therapist Lisa Miller says women older than 45 and men over the age of 40 should do the screening. 

"There's so many risk factors that we can control, that we can prevent these things from occurring in the first place," Lisa Miller said. 

Being overweight, stressed, having high blood sugar and not exercising are just a few of the risk factors Lisa says you can control. 

The screening requires you to fast for at least four hours in order to get accurate numbers. 

"It was pretty easy I thought. Very non-invasive, a little stick of the finger and that was it," Tom Miller said. 

Tom and Teresa highly recommend the screening to others who meet the criteria.

"You know, there might be some changes you need to make in your everyday life but in the end it's going to be worth it. You want to be around for the grandkids," Tom Miller said.

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