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Your Heart Will Thank You

It’s time to celebrate your heart!

Did you know that heart disease is the #1 killer in the United States for both women and men? 1 out of every 3 deaths are caused by heart disease (2017).

So how do you know if you are at risk? Take the quiz to determine your risk rate. While some risk factors like age and family history of heart disease, you can’t control, there are several risk factors that you can – like changing your diet and increasing physical activity.

How did you score on the quiz? Are you at risk? Regardless if you are at a high or low risk, you want to know your numbers. According to the American Heart Association, to be proactive against heart disease there are “5 Key Numbers” to know: Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar, Body Mass Index (BMI), Total Cholesterol, and HDL Cholesterol.

To maintain a healthy heart, aim for the following readings:

Blood Pressure: A normal blood pressure reading is a systolic reading (the top number) of less than 120 and diastolic reading (the bottom number) less than 80. For more information, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/KnowYourNumbers/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp#.WnMyhndG02w

Blood Sugar (fasting): < 100 mg/dL

BMI is a quick and inexpensive measure to determine if you are at healthy weight. The measure ranges from underweight to normal to extreme obesity. While BMI does have some limitations, a higher BMI generally indicates an increased risk for chronic disease including heart disease.   Want to know your BMI? Check out the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute online BMI calculator.

Total and HDL Cholesterol: Current guidelines recommend following your healthcare provider’s recommendations. This is a good list of questions to discuss with your healthcare provider about cholesterol and keeping it under control.

If it’s been a while since you’ve had a conversation with your healthcare provider, now is good time to make the call and schedule your appointment. It’s time to celebrate your heart: Know your risk factors. Know your numbers.  #LifeIsWhy

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