Check Up 13

Welcome to Check Up 13, in partnership with Ascension St. Vincent

WTHR and co-anchor and health reporter Anne Marie Tiernon have partnered with Ascension St. Vincent, part of Ascension, one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., on an initiative called Check Up 13. The goal of Check Up 13 is to educate and encourage Indiana residents to take a proactive role in their own health. Check Up 13 includes news stories that will air on the 13th of every month during WTHR's Health Beat segment. The monthly program will highlight providers and patient success stories at Ascension St. Vincent and focus on the health topic screening, event or promotion for that month.

Vascular Disease: It’s a Matter of Life and Limb

The majority of the population is aware of the critical importance of heart disease, but very few understand vascular disease.

As the heart beats, it pumps blood through a system of blood vessels, called the circulatory system. These vessels are elastic tubes that carry blood to every part of the body.

  • Arteries carry blood away from the heart.
  • Veins return blood back to the heart.

Vascular disease includes any health condition that affects the circulatory system. This ranges from diseases of the arteries, veins and lymph vessels to blood disorders that affect circulation.

  • Vascular disease may be undiagnosed and untreated, despite the risks of serious complications like stroke, death or the loss of limbs.
  • Our population is aging and the rate of vascular disease has risen significantly, but diagnosis and treatment of vascular disease have not kept pace with heart disease.

Vascular disease, like heart disease, must become a national health care priority to reduce death and disability due to vascular disease.

The Tri-Vascular Screening Test

This ultrasound test is painless, takes less than 30 minutes, and helps detect clogged, damaged or weakened blood vessels. The vascular screening test looks for signs of an aneurysm (dilatation of an artery), carotid artery disease and blockages in the leg arteries (peripheral artery disease). Disease in all three of these areas can lead to stroke. In a Tri-Vascular screening, the ultrasound device is moved over the abdomen, neck and legs looking at the rate of circulating blood and possible bulges in the blood vessels. It's a more comprehensive look and evaluates arterial disease from multiple points of view.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

This affects the health of millions of older Americans, at least a quarter of those over 70-years old. Many older people with PAD have difficulty walking, and some may suffer from foot ulcers or infections. People with PAD have a much higher risk of stroke and heart attack, but these risks can be reduced if PAD is diagnosed early.

PAD Screen

A simple Doppler exam can accurately diagnose PAD. When PAD is treated people are usually able to walk farther and have reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.

Carotid Artery Disease

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the US and the #1 cause of disability in older populations. More than half of all strokes in older Americans are due to carotid artery disease and there are proven treatments to reduce strokes in those cases.

Carotid Artery Screening

Carotid Artery Disease can be diagnosed easily and accurately using an ultrasound scan to image the artery.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)

This is the 10th leading cause of death in men over 50 (in the US); however, most people never know they have an aneurysm. AAA can be permanently cured when it is diagnosed early, but rupture is fatal in most cases. A painless risk-free ultrasound scan can diagnose an AAA and accurately measure its size to determine the need for treatment.


‘Checkup 13’ for February is a $79 Tri-Vascular Screening sponsored by Ascension St. Vincent and Channel 13. This is a paid screening opportunity at $79 and can be paid by cash, check or credit card on the day of one’s screening appointment and test. (Checks should be made out to ‘Ascension St. Vincent Medical Group’).

The three screening exams that are provided are:

  • Carotid artery check for plaque/blockage
  • Aorta check for abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • ABI-blood pressures on arms and ankles to check for peripheral arterial disease.


  • Testing usually takes about 15 minutes. These are painless tests. No needles.
  • Screening participants must fast – have nothing to eat or drink – for 6 hours prior to screening.
  • If screening participants have medications, they should take them with water prior to screening.​


Screening participants must be 55-years-old or older with 2 or more of the following risk factors:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Smoking (Current or Past)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Family History of arterial disease, stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm or peripheral artery disease