updated 9/13/2004 3:38:06 PM ET 2004-09-13T19:38:06

Concerned that you haven’t been taking your heart health seriously? According to the American Heart Association, the following questions can help you start a dialogue with your doctor. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but a good starting point for a discussion about how to improve your heart health. You can find more information about risk factors and symptoms on their Web site.

  1. What do my cholesterol numbers mean?
  2. What are the recommended cholesterol levels?
  3. How often should I have my cholesterol checked?
  4. Do I need to take cholesterol-lowering medicine?
  5. What types of foods should I eat to lower my cholesterol?
  6. What is my blood pressure?
  7. What should my blood pressure be?
  8. How often should I check my blood pressure?
  9. How much exercise do you recommend to help control cholesterol and blood pressure?
  10. What is my "Body Mass Index?" Do I need to lose weight?  If so, how much?
  11. How much exercise do you recommend for a healthy heart?
  12. Can you recommend a dietitian who can help me develop a weight loss plan?
  13. How can I tell a heart attack from angina (chest pains)?
  14. What are the warning signs of a heart attack?
  15. Are there screening tests for heart disease I should take?
  16. How often should I return for a heart checkup?

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