Look After Your Heart With Help From TRICARE

  • Published
  • By TRICARE Communications

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2021, about 695,000 people in the U.S. died from heart disease—that’s 1 in every 5 deaths. Taking care of your heart is very important.

“Keeping your heart healthy is important at any age,” said Jeannine Pickrell, RN, nurse consultant for Disease Management & Population Health at the Defense Health Agency. “TRICARE covers many preventive services like blood pressure and cholesterol screenings to help you monitor your heart health.”

What is heart disease, and what are the risks?

Heart disease is a term for many different heart conditions, including:

  • Blood vessel disease, such as coronary artery disease
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Heart problems you’re born with (congenital heart defects)
  • Disease of the heart muscle
  • Heart valve disease

Heart disease can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, and stroke. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, poor diet, being overweight, and lack of exercise can raise your risk for heart disease.

TRICARE covered preventive services

Catching heart disease early gives you the best chance for treatment to work well. Many heart problems show no symptoms at first. That’s why getting preventive care is really important.

For adults, TRICARE covers services to check your risk for heart problems. This includes:

In some situations, TRICARE also covers these preventive services:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening, for men ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked

Talk to your doctor about which preventive services you need, based on your age, risk factors, and symptoms. As described in the TRICARE Costs and Fees Fact Sheet, TRICARE makes it easy to get the preventive care you need. TRICARE covers all medically necessary preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs to you if you use a TRICARE network provider.

Women and heart health

Women of all ages should be mindful of their heart health and know the signs of a heart attack. Heart attack rates in women between the ages of 30 and 50 are increasing, said U.S. Air Force Col. (Dr.) Travis Batts, chief of cardiology at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. Women often have different heart attack symptoms than men. These symptoms include pain between the shoulder blades, abdominal pain, and nausea. If you have these symptoms, it’s important to get medical care right away. Learn more about heart attacks in women on Health.mil.

Other ways to protect your heart health

Along with getting preventive care, you can take charge of your heart health by:

  • Not smoking
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Reaching a healthy weight
  • Managing stress
  • Taking any heart medications as prescribed

These tips are things you can do every day to improve your heart health without going to the doctor.

Lifestyle changes like these will support your overall health. Talk to your doctor about ways you can make these changes. And go to Covered Services to learn more about how TRICARE can help.

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