Talking To Your Doctor About Heart Disease

posted Feb 23, 2013, 7:46 AM by DJ   [ updated Mar 18, 2017, 7:36 PM ]

Talking To Your Doctor About Heart Disease

Why should I talk to my health care provider about heart disease?

Many women, and even their doctors, think of heart disease is a man's problem, but heart disease is the #1 killer of women. It is important for every woman, together with her health care provider(s), to address her risk for heart disease. This begins with a frank conversation about your risk level and steps you should be taking to prevent future heart problems.

If you are ever concerned about symptoms that you think might be related to your heart, see your provider right away. Never wait! If you experience the symptoms of a heart attack, call 9-1-1.

What is the best way to talk to my health care provider about heart disease?

All women need to take an active role in their health care. Forming a good partnership with your health care provider is a great place to start. Good partnerships depend on good communication. You will get more out of each visit with your provider, and help your provider to give you the best possible care, if you learn how to talk about any symptoms you might be having, as well as your lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you better communicate with your provider.

  • Be prepared. Prepare a list of your concerns and questions; a diary of your symptoms (if you have any), and a list of any medications that you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs. 
  • Tell your history.   If you are having symptoms, tell your provider when they began, how often they occur, and whether they are getting better, worse, or staying the same. Be sure to mention if you have a history of high blood pressur or cholesterol, or if anyone in your family has had a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease, and how old they were when it was diagnosed.  
  • Take notes. This will help you to remember what your doctor tells you.
  • Ask questions. Make sure that you fully understand any tests ordered or treatments prescribed.