Did you know…that knowing your health numbers could save your life? According to this article, Key Numbers for Heart Health on WebMD.com there are 3 key numbers that could give you a lifesaving preview of your cardiac risk:
[iconbox title=”3 Keys” icon=”Locked.png”]Let’s look closer[/iconbox]
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol levels
- Waist size
Blood pressure is considered normal when it’s below 120/80. Your systolic number (120) measures the pressure of blood against artery walls when the heart pumps blood out during a heartbeat. The diastolic number (80) measures the same pressure between heartbeats when the heart fills with blood.
[iconbox title=”Fact” icon=”Cog_3.png”]1 in 3 adults in the U.S., about 74 million people has high blood pressure or pre-hypertension. Between 1996 and 2006, the number of deaths from high blood pressure rose by more than 48%.[/iconbox]
Cholesterol is a type of fat that is actually a nutrient. There are 3 individual numbers that are more important than the actual “lipid profile”; HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides.
Waist size over 35 inches in women and over 40 inches in men will greatly increase the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases. Measure around your natural waistline (below the ribcage and above your hipbone) hold in your stomach slightly and maintain posture.
Numbers You Should Know and Optimum Levels
Blood pressure – 115/75
Waist size – < half your height
HDL level (good cholesterol) – > 45
LDL level (bad cholesterol) – < 100
Triglycerides – < 150
TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) – 2.5 mIU/L
Fasting blood sugar – < 95
Vitamin D blood level – > 50 ng/1
Prevention Tests You Need
Cholesterol: at age 20 and then every 5 years get a lipid profile
Colonoscopy: at age 50 and then once every 10 years (if no family history of colon cancer)
Stress test: after age 50
PSA test: every year, men only – should be < 4 ng/ml
Bone density: start around menopause and then every 5 years, women only
Cervical: every 3 years, women only
Mammogram: every year after age 50, women only
Knowing your health numbers is a step towards preventing heart disease and other chronic diseases like diabetes. Monitor these numbers regularly to maintain a healthy heart!
List of resources, all worth checking out.
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Cheers to a Healthy Day!