The first step in the process of diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease is a visit with your doctor to discuss your risk factors for developing cardiac disease, as well as any cardiac symptoms you may be having. As a part of this office visit, your physician will ask you about your personal and family medical history. For example:
- Have you ever been treated for high blood pressure, or been told that you have hypertension?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Have you been told you have high cholesterol?
- How much do you smoke?
Your doctor will also likely ask questions related to your family’s heart health such as the following:
- Has anyone in your family had a heart attack or stroke, and at what age?
- Has anyone been told they have coronary artery disease or heart disease?
- Has anyone had bypass surgery or undergone a procedure to have blockages in their arteries opened?
Your answers to these questions and others will help your physician determine your risk level for cardiovascular disease and whether gathering more information through tests may be beneficial.