Which Type Of Cardiac Screening Should You Get?

How common are cardiac diseases in Singapore?

Heart disease is a potent silent killer that has been claiming countless lives in Singapore. According to recent 2023 data from the Ministry of Health Singapore, an average of 34 people have heart attacks and 23 people die from heart disease on a daily basis. 

What is cardiac screening and why is it needed?

Cardiac screening is an essential part of preventive healthcare, aiming to proactively identify potential heart diseases early. 

Many cardiac conditions are asymptomatic until they reach an advanced and sometimes irreversible stage, that is, they may not exhibit noticeable symptoms at first. Therefore, it is advisable to undergo a heart screening before symptoms (such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and abnormal heart rate) arise. 

Cardiac screening enables early detection of heart conditions hence, allowing timely treatment options before your condition worsens. Through a series of specialised tests, cardiac screening can assess the health of your heart, identify risk factors, and offer valuable insights into your cardiovascular well-being.

Who needs to undergo cardiac screening?

As recommended by cardiologists, individuals who fulfil one or more of the following criteria should undergo routine heart screenings.

  • Men over 40 and women approaching menopause
  • Smokers
  • Diabetics
  • Medical history of high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure
  • Family history of coronary artery disease
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Living a sedentary or stressful lifestyle

Heart screening examinations are generally recommended every 2 to 4 years for individuals without symptoms. However, if you have a pre-existing heart condition, your cardiologist might recommend you to schedule more frequent tests to monitor and manage your specific health condition.

Which is the right cardiac test for your unique condition?

With an array of cardiac screening tests available, selecting the appropriate one(s) hinges on various factors, including age, gender, family health history, and individual risk factors. 

Here is an overview of the key cardiac screening tests at Capital Heart Centre to guide you in making an informed decision. Most cardiac screening tests are safe and non-invasive procedures. Depending on these test results, further invasive procedures such as Coronary Angiogram and Electrophysiological Study may be recommended.

Diagnostic Test Technique  Type Of Cardiac Information Collected
Electrocardiogram (ECG) Electrodes record the heart’s electrical activity
  • Abnormalities in the heart rate and rhythm
  • Damage from previous heart attack
  • Anatomical changes of the heart
Exercise Treadmill ECG Test (TMX) Electrodes are used to evaluate the heart’s response to physical stress
  • Presence of coronary artery disease
  • Your heart’s capacity to endure physical exertion
  • Heart rate and blood pressure changes in response to exercise
  • Exercise-induced heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Your condition after a cardiac procedure
  • Follow up of your cardiac treatment
Transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE) Ultrasound scan which  uses high-frequency sound waves to capture detailed images of the moving heart to evaluate its structure and function
  • Problems with your heart, valves, and blood vessels
  • Function of your heart, valves, and blood vessels
  • Blood circulation through your heart
  • Progression of heart conditions 
  • Presence of permanent heart damage and congenital heart diseases
Cardiac Calcium Scoring (CAScore) CT scan evaluates the amount of calcium deposits in coronary arteries
  • An age-adjusted calcium score to evaluate the risk of developing a heart attack
Computed Tomography Coronary Angiogram (CTCA) CT scanner obtains detailed images of the heart and coronary arteries
  • Degree of cholesterol plaque build-up
  • Progression of pre-existing coronary artery disease
  • Outcome of previous coronary treatment (angioplasty or bypass surgery)


What are key non-invasive cardiac tests in Singapore?

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Electrocardiogram (ECG)
or Electrocardiography, refers to the attachment of tiny electrodes to the chest, arms, and legs, capturing your heart’s electrical signals. These signals are subsequently interpreted and recorded by a machine, revealing information such as heart rate, rhythm, and electrical waveforms.

Application: ECG is mostly recommended for heart screening, pre-surgery assessments, and before initiating a new exercise regimen. Additionally, it serves as a follow-up measure for specific heart treatments, including post-heart attack care, after procedures like angioplasty or heart surgery, management of heart arrhythmias, and the installation of pacemakers.

Tap/ click here to read our blog article on ‘What Does An Abnormal ECG Mean?’.

Exercise Treadmill ECG Test (TMX)


The Exercise Treadmill Electrocardiography test (TMX) involves walking on a treadmill with progressively higher speeds and inclines. This elevates heart rate and workload, potentially revealing hidden cardiac issues that may remain undetected under normal circumstances 

Application: Your cardiologist may recommend a TMX if you have symptoms of coronary artery disease, like chest pain (angina) and shortness of breath, as well as key risk factors for coronary artery disease. The test also has other functions, such as screening for exercise-induced heart rhythm abnormalities and evaluating the effectiveness of your cardiac treatment plan.

Transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE)

Transthoracic echocardiography  (TTE) involves placing an ultrasound transducer on the chest, emitting sound waves that penetrate the chest cavity and bounce off the heart and nearby organs, creating echoes. These echoes return to the transducer, where they are captured and transformed into moving images of the heart.

Application: TTE can be used to diagnose and monitor multiple heart conditions, such as permanent heart damage after a heart attack and congenital heart diseases (e.g., hole-in-the heart). The ultrasound scan can help your cardiologist determine what the best treatment option is for you.

Cardiac calcium scoring

Calcium Scoring
A coronary calcium score (also known as an Agatston score) relies on CT Scans to find out how much calcified plaque is in your coronary arteries. The score will then aid cardiologists in determining the presence of Coronary artery disease (CAD) or the risk of developing CAD.  

Application: Cardiac calcium scoring is especially suitable for those considered at intermediate risk for CAD, especially when traditional risk assessment tools provide unclear results. Additionally, patients with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease may be advised to undergo cardiac calcium scoring, even if their overall risk is moderate.

 CT Coronary Angiogram

The Computed Tomography Coronary Angiogram (also known as CT Coronary Angiography) is the most important cardiac screening test. It is an advanced imaging test that uses the CT scanner to evaluate the condition of your heart and coronary arteries.

Application:  A CT Coronary Angiogram is typically recommended for patients with symptoms indicating coronary artery disease,  past investigations suggestive of coronary artery disease, pre-existing coronary artery disease, prior coronary treatment (angioplasty or bypass surgery), and key risk factors for coronary artery disease. 

Book a cardiac screening at Capital Heart Centre

Overall, understanding your health profile is necessary for choosing the right cardiac screening test(s), and cardiologists will provide personalised recommendations tailored to your heart-specific needs. 

For those at risk, routine cardiac screenings should be considered a valuable investment in their long-term well-being. Not only does it provide you with peace of mind but also facilitates the early detection of heart problems, which is critical for a good prognosis.

Capital Heart Centre offers 4 tiers of customised heart screening packages for heart health assessment. 

  • Essential screening
  • Comprehensive screening
  • Executive screening 
  • Premium screening

Each screening package involves a pre-screening clinical assessment with our Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Joshua Low, and involves a detailed walkthrough of your past medical and family history, and a physical examination. 

Contact us today to schedule a cardiac screening.

To learn more about heart screening, you can click/tap here to read our other blog article, ‘What Is Heart Screening and How Often Should You Do It?’.


MOH | News Highlights. www.moh.gov.sg. Accessed February 20, 2024. https://www.moh.gov.sg/news-highlights/details/speech-by-mr-ong-ye-kung-minister-for-health-at-the-launch-of-project-reset-on-27-september-2023-9.10am-at-the-singapore-marriott-tang-plaza-hotel#:~:text=In%20Singapore%2C%20on%20average%20every

How can we help you?

We offer consultation for a comprehensive range of cardiac diagnostic tests and treatment plans.

Dr Joshua Loh

Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist

Medical Director at Capital Heart Centre, Dr Joshua Loh has more than 15 years of experience in the field of cardiology.

He is experienced in the treatment of complex coronary and interventional procedures.



How can we help you today?

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