Are you heart smart?

Liz Szabo
USA Today

While consumers have access to more information about heart disease than ever before, much of it is incorrect or even dangerous, say cardiology experts Marc Gillinov and Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, authors of the new Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need (Three Rivers Press, $19.99). USA TODAY’s Liz Szabo asked them how people can make smarter choices about their health.

Q. How can the average person evaluate medical advice, and distinguish solid science from bunk?

A. Patients need to be medical detectives. Ask pointed questions. When your doctor recommends a treatment or test — particularly if the test involves radiation or risk — ask how the results will influence treatment or improve your health. If your physician resents such questions, find another doctor.

When seeking information on the Internet, go to established sites from major medical centers. Avoid sites promoting dietary supplements or other products. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Read More: Are you heart smart?

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