MUSC Heart & Vascular Center

Heart and Vascular Center

Talking to Your Doctor

Women can take charge of their health by making positive lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke, including congestive heart failure.  Talk to your doctor to find out how you can live a longer, healthier life.  Here are some things you might ask your doctor about:

 Cholesterol levels
 High Blood Pressure
  Obesity
 Smoking
 Diabetes
 Physical Inactivity
 Risk
 Heart Attack & Stroke

Questions About Your Cholesterol Levels
What is cholesterol and how may too much of it affect my health?

What is a healthy cholesterol level and how can I reach or maintain a healthy level?

What is my HDL (“good”) level, my LDL (“bad”) level and my total cholesterol level?

What is my triglyceride level?

How often should I have my cholesterol checked?

If my cholesterol levels are abnormal, should I be taking medicines such as statins, niacin, or fibrates in addition to eating a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity?

Questions about High Blood Pressure
What is high blood pressure and how may it affect my health?

What is an optimal blood pressure for me?

What is my blood pressure and how can I reach and maintain a healthy level?

How often should I have my blood pressure checked?

Should I be on blood pressure lowering medicine in addition to following a healthier?

Questions About Obesity
What is a Body Mass Index (BMI) and what range is healthy for me?

At what weight would I be considered overweight or obese?

How can I reach or maintain a healthy weight?

What is a heart healthy way to eat?

What kind of physical activity should I do?

Questions About Smoking
How does smoking affect my heart health?

How can I quit smoking?

How can I avoid possible weight gain after I quit smoking?

Questions About Diabetes
What is diabetes and how may it affect my heart health?

What are the risk factors for diabetes?

Diabetes runs in my family.  How can I prevent it?

I have diabetes.  How can I control it?

I have diabetes, and I know that increases my risk of heart disease and stroke.  Should I be on a statin, an ACE inhibitor and/or aspirin, in addition to following a healthier lifestyle?

Physical Inactivity
How much physical activity should I engage in to decrease my risk of heart disease or congestive heart failure?

What can I do to increase my physical activity levels?

Risk
Would you assess my risk for heart disease based on the risk factors mentioned above? 
Could we use the Framingham 10-year risk score?

If I am at intermediate or high risk for heart disease or congestive heart failure, are medicines for blood pressure control, cholesterol control and aspirin appropriate for me?

Heart Attack & Stroke
What is a heart attack?

What is a stroke?

What are my risk factors for heart attack and stroke?

How would I know if I am having a heart attack or stroke?

What should I do if I think I’m having a heart attack or stroke?

This information was kindly provided by the American Heart Association, ©2006, All Rights Reserved.

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