Doctor, doctor: Am I exercising too hard?

Two years ago, a random screening found I had high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. My GP's computer gave me a 7% chance of heart attack in the next five years, below the 10% threshold for being given a statin. I now exercise twice a week and have lost weight, but I'm concerned that when I run on a treadmill I often have a heart rate of 165-168, which is close to the "maximum rate" for my age (44). Should I exercise more slowly? And should I get tested again?
Presumably you have no symptoms of heart disease (such as chest pain or excessive breathlessness) when running at this rate? I wonder, though, if you are exercising too strenuously, especially as you do so only twice a week. Less strenuous exercise three or four times a week might be more appropriate, so that your heart rate doesn't rise so steeply. See your doctor again. Once you have been found to have high blood pressure, it needs monitoring, and it would be appropriate to check on your cholesterol level, too.

• This is Dr Tom Smith's final Doctor, Doctor column.

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