What to ask your doctor when you’ve just been diagnosed with a heart condition

Questions to ask your doctor

When you've just been told that you have a heart condition, it can be a confusing time. Here’s our quick guide to asking the right questions, in order to get the answers that you need.

When you're given a diagnosis it's understandable to feel overwhelmed, scared or confused – especially if it was an unexpected diagnosis – but it’s important to get the facts, so you can feel more in control of your condition and can make the best choices.

Not all of these questions will be relevant to every situation. Choose the ones that fit your circumstances and who you’re speaking to. 

Good questions to ask after a diagnosis:

  1. Why do I have a heart condition? 
  2. Will my condition improve or become more challenging? 
  3. Will I need any more tests or treatment
  4. Do I need to take any medicines, and what are the possible side effects? 
  5. Is it likely that I will have another heart attack (or more angina)? 
  6. What should I do if I feel the symptoms again? 
  7. How much physical activity should I be doing, and how often? And what sort of activities can I do? 
  8. Can I go back to work?
  9. Is it OK to go on holiday
  10. Is it OK to have sex
  11. How often will I need to go for appointments at the hospital or with the GP?
  12. Will anyone visit us at home? 
  13. What help is available?  
  • You might find it useful to make notes of what the doctors or nurses tell you. If you are unsure or confused about what they have told you, call the BHF Heart Helpline on 0300 330 3311.

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