Heart Health in Endurance Athletes: But at what cost?

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who read, liked, or commented on my last article where I went through the results of my tests, and what those results mean for me moving forward. Your support and advice really does mean a lot to me. I will of course keep you all updated on how things progress with the new meds.

If you missed the first four chapters in this Heart Health series, you can check them out using the links below:

Part 1: Getting Started
Part 2: What’s up, Doc?
Part 3: Blood Tests
Part 4: The Scan & Test Results

But back on topic. The cost.

This medical journey of mine has come at a cost. I’m not talking about a physical or mental cost, but an actual monetary cost. All the appointments and scans do not come for free. Then again, what price do you put on your health? Out of interest, I thought I’d keep track of just how much it has cost me to get fully checked out. Here’s the running total so far…

Initial GP visit: $45
Blood tests: $0
Second GP visit: $45
Cardiologist consult: $115
Full 3D heart plaque CT scan: $650
Cardiologist follow-up: $115
Blood Pressure Machine: $195
Medication: $35 (so far)
Parking & public transport: $25

TOTAL: $1225 (roughly US$800 or GBP£750)

This stuff isn’t exactly cheap and nothing was covered under my health insurance. There are other costs too, such as fuel to drive to/from these appointments. If you have to take time off work (I didn’t) that’s another possible expense.

Honestly though, that wasn’t an issue. I know I am very privileged in that respect. I didn’t need to weigh up the cost of any of this. Having these test wasn’t going to keep food off the table, or stop bills being paid. I am lucky.

I also know that not everybody is lucky enough to be in my situation (and that lifestyle related health issues are higher in lower income demographics). I’m not going to get into the politics of health care, apart from to say that in some countries many of my appointments would have been free, and in other countries they may have run into the thousands of dollars.

The information on the costs is merely laid out here for reference.

So once again, thank you for reading and following me on this journey. Stay strong, stay healthy, and keep those wheel rubber side on the road!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. alchemyrider says:

    Some of my cycling friends are under the mistaken impression that being able to complete a century ride without struggling along the way denotes heart health. Or that reaching Stage 4 on a cardiac stress test denotes a healthy heart.

    I tell them that all they have shown is that they are strong enough to overcome any cardiac issues they may be harbouring. E.G. partial coronary artery blockages.

    I present myself as an example. Annual cardiac stress tests did not reveal any issues. I wasn’t until I did a coronary CT scan that I learned that I have two partial coronary artery blockages. Fortunately, still manageable non-invasively. Just the daily aspirin and a statin.

    I also remind my more mature male friends 😄 that they already have two strikes against them when it comes to the probability of having coronary heart disease. Gender and age.

    Add a family history of heart disease to the mix, as is true in my case, and spending money on a CT scan is an obvious thing to do.

    You stay healthy too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. For sure. I was expecting to get a stress test, but my cardiologist pointed outs e same thing, that it was essentially pointless at identifying if I had any issues. Really glad I got the ball rolling in all of this and caught it relatively early. Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Doug McNamee says:

    You are lucky because if you were in the United States, your costs probably would have been much higher. Unlike I will say something about our health care system, it sucks. I’m still hoping for a national health care system. That viewpoint aside, I truly hope you are okay. I guess you’re a true example that it doesn’t matter how healthy you think you are, your body eventually betrays you. But I would say that since you are a cyclist, your chances of surviving or overcoming your heart issues are probably higher than someone who neglects his health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by. I guess I am lucky in that respect, I am fit and healthy and have looked after myself, potentially fending off what could have been far worse progression!

      Liked by 1 person

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