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The Heart Truth - Campaign Materials
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor/What's Your Risk?

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR

Getting answers to these questions will give you vital information about your heart health and what you can do to improve it. You may want to bring this list to your doctor's office.

  1. What is my risk for heart disease?
  2. What is my blood pressure? What does it mean for me, and what do I need to do about it?
  3. What are my cholesterol numbers? (These include total cholesterol, LDL or "bad" cholesterol, HDL or "good" cholesterol, and triglycerides.) What do they mean for me, and what do I need to do about them?
  4. What are my "body mass index" and waist measurement? Do they indicate that I need to lose weight for my health?
  5. What is my blood sugar level, and does it mean I'm at risk for diabetes?
  6. What other screening tests for heart disease do I need? How often should I return for checkups for my heart health?
  7. What can you do to help me quit smoking?
  8. How much physical activity do I need to help protect my heart?
  9. What is a heart-healthy eating plan for me? Should I see a registered dietitian or qualified nutritionist to learn more about healthy eating?
  10. How can I tell if I'm having a heart attack?

To learn more, visit www.hearttruth.gov
Source: The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2007).

WHAT'S YOUR RISK?

Here is a quick quiz to find out your risk of a heart attack. If you don't know some of the answers, check with your health care provider.

Choose one of the following answers for each question:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't Know
  1. Do you smoke?
  2. Is your blood pressure 140/90 mmHg or higher, OR have you been told by your doctor that your blood pressure is too high?
  3. Has your doctor told you that your total cholesterol level is 200 mg/dL or higher, OR your HDL (good cholesterol) is less than 40 mg/dL?
  4. Has your father or brother had a heart attack before age 55, OR has your mother or sister had one before age 65?
  5. Do you have diabetes OR a fasting blood sugar of 126 mg/dL or higher, OR do you need medicine to control your blood sugar?
  6. Are you over 55 years old?
  7. Do you have a body mass index (BMI) score of 25 or more?
  8. Do you get less than a total of 30 minutes of physical activity on most days?
  9. Has a doctor told you that you have angina (chest pains), OR have you had a heart attack?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you're at an increased risk of having a heart attack.

To learn more, visit www.hearttruth.gov

Source: The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2007).

Last Updated: February 29, 2012

The Heart Truth, its logo, The Red Dress, Red Dress, Red Dress Collection, and Heart Disease Doesn't Care What You Wear—It's the #1 Killer of Women are registered trademarks of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 
National Wear Red Day is a registered trademark of HHS and the American Heart Association.

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