Make the most of your next doctor’s visit with this checklist of must-ask questions about heart health.
Your relationship with your primary care physician should be one built on trust — and on communication. And that communication works both ways.
Before your next appointment, take some time to reflect on your status quo. Are you concerned about heart disease? Unsure of how to improve heart health? Coming up with a list of questions can help you open those lines of communications — and can help you feel more in control of your heart health. Here’s a list to get you started:
- Based on my family and personal history, am I at risk for heart disease?
- Are there any screening tests that I should be scheduling?
- What are the warning signs of heart attack and stroke?
- What is my blood pressure, and is it at a healthy level?
- What do my cholesterol numbers mean?
- What is a heart-healthy diet?
- What level of exercise is safe for me and will also have cardiovascular benefits?
- What can I do to decrease stress?
- Do I need to lose weight? What’s the best way for me to do so?
- Can I get help in controlling risk factors that can be modified, such as diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity?
If you’re a woman, consider these questions as well:
- Could birth control pills put me at a higher risk for heart disease?
- Could complications I experienced during pregnancy (such as preeclampsia) put me more at risk?
- What do I need to know about how menopause affects my heart health?
- How can I find a cardiologist who specializes in women’s heart health?
Having a conversation about your heart health with your doctor is the first step to ensuring that you’re on the right path. Need more information to support you on your journey? Check out the My Southern Health Guide to Heart Health for more heart-healthy tips from the experts.
Vanderbilt Women’s Heart Center
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the U.S., yet it often goes under-diagnosed and under-treated. Vanderbilt Health offers a specialized program tailored to women’s heart health needs, spanning from adolescence and childbirth to menopause. Women’s Heart Center experts work together to treat heart disease with the special needs of women in mind.