Ask your primary care provider to help you answer questions about heart health.
Did you know someone can have heart disease without knowing it? Even more alarming is that the first sign of heart disease can sometimes be a heart attack.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States. That’s one reason the whole month of February is dedicated to making people aware of it.
“American Heart Month is a great way to help people see and potentially avoid the dangers of heart disease,” said Nashwa Abdulsalam, MD, a PeaceHealth cardiovascular disease specialist in Vancouver, Washington. “It’s also a time to offer hope to those who have it.”
The good news is that heart disease can be prevented. And your healthcare provider can also help you find and treat heart conditions early.
PeaceHealth has a host of heart specialists ready to meet many of your heart-health needs.
“But before you see a specialist in cardiology or cardiovascular care, the best place to start is with your own primary care provider,” said Dr. Abdulsalam.
Talk with your PCP if you have any of the following:
• Family history of heart disease.
• BMI (body mass index) greater than 30.
• Concerns that you might have had a heart attack in the past.
• Symptoms of heart issues (e.g., tightness or pressure in your chest, racing heart, shortness of breath or nausea with or after exertion).
Here are six key questions to ask during your PCP visit:
1. What things make it more likely for me to get heart disease?
2. Do I have high blood pressure? What’s the best way to bring it down?
3. What should my cholesterol levels be?
4. What changes should I consider making to my lifestyle?
5. What symptoms should I watch for?
6. How can I manage health conditions that increase my risk?
Your PCP or a PeaceHealth cardiologist can help you get to know your heart — and learn how to take the best possible care of it.