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All aboard? See your physician first

Before you zip up your suitcase for your next vacation, see your doctor for a checkup, especially if you have a heart condition or are going on a cruise. In a two-year study of 100 cruise ship passengers who developed a heart condition that required on-board medical attention, 10 percent had cardiac symptoms in the days or weeks before boarding the ship. As reported in The American Journal of Cardiology, ill passengers most commonly complained of chest pain and 73 required transport to a local hospital. While on-board medical centers may be able to perform blood work, chest X-rays and cardiac monitoring and even prescribe medication, they can’t provide more extensive care. Help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip by seeing your physician for a checkup before you set sail. Have him or her provide you with your medical history and a complete list of your medications.