How Is Heart Disease Diagnosed?

Your health care provider diagnoses heart disease in several ways:

  • Your symptoms
  • Your medical history
  • Your risk factors
  • A physical exam

During your physical exam, your health care provider uses a stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs.

To help check your blood flow, your health care provider may take your pulse at your neck, wrist, leg, or foot.

Your health care provider will also take your blood pressure to see if it is at the right level or if it is too high.


Ask your health care provider if you are at risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are laboratory tests that help your health care provider learn more about your heart. They can show if there are any problems and what treatments you may need.

These are the laboratory tests that help your health care provider learn more about your heart:

  • Blood tests
  • EKG (also called ECG or electrocardiogram)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress test, which may also include an echocardiogram or nuclear scan
  • Cardiac catheterization


Your health care provider will decide which test may be right for you.

Choose a Free


Get a week's worth of delicious recipes by e-mail from MerckEngage.

Please select an option.

Please enter a name.

Please enter an e-mail address.

Get It

By choosing a cookbook and providing your name and e-mail address, and by clicking the "Get It" button, you agree to permit Merck, and others working on behalf of Merck, to provide the e-mail materials you've requested.

You'll receive an e-mail with a link to the cookbook of your choice.

Join us!

We'll give you even more customized tools, information, and fresh ideas—to support your health needs.

Sign Up With Facebookor

Register for Free