Talking to Your Doctor About Heart Attack
- Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Bring the list of current medications with you.
- Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- Based on my medical history, lifestyle, and family background, am I at risk for a heart attack?
- How do I best prevent heart disease and heart attack?
- How do I know if my blood pressure or cholesterol is high?
- What are the risks and benefits of the various methods to reopen the artery?
What medications are available to help me?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am already taking for other conditions?
How soon after my heart attack can I begin exercising?
- What type of exercise is best?
- How much should I be exercising?
- How do I get started with an exercise program?
- Do I have to change my diet? If so, how do I go about it?
- Should I stop drinking alcohol?
- How can I find help to quit smoking?
- Do I need to lose weight? If so, how much?
- How soon after my heart attack is it safe to have sex?
- How do I know if my cholesterol and blood pressure are staying within healthy limits?
- How often will you monitor my blood pressure and cholesterol levels?
- How likely am I to have another heart attack?
- How extensive is the damage to my heart? How will that affect my quality of life?
Heart-to-heart. Talking to your doctor. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/ConsumerHealthCare/Heart-to-heart-Talking-to-Your-Doctor%5FUCM%5F323844%5FArticle.jsp. Updated June 20, 2013. Accessed April 16, 2014.
Preparing for medical visits. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiacRehab/Preparing-for-Medical-Visits%5FUCM%5F307053%5FArticle.jsp. Updated March 22, 2013. Accessed April 16, 2014.
Talking to your doctor. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://nih.gov/clearcommunication/talktoyourdoctor.htm. Accessed April 16, 2014.
Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed April 16, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
- Review Date: 03/2015 -
- Update Date: 03/15/2015 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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