The best way to monitor your health is to see your doctor and work together as a team for your health. Many of the major risk factors (such as blood pressure and cholesterol) are apparent only with a med- ical examination. The earlier you can identify a problem area and start to work on it, the more likely you will be able to prevent the develop- ment of more serious disease. For instance, an evaluation of prehyper- tension (see page 43) or prediabetes (see page 106) gives you a head start on these risk factors. As you work on one risk factor (for instance, exer- cising more to lower cholesterol) you will very likely be improving oth- ers as well. Know all your risk factors from your medical history—not only high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking, but also risks from
menopause, aging, and lifestyle choices regarding food and exercise.