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? 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. Regardless if you are 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, read Understanding Blood Pressure Readings.
Blood Sugar (fasting): The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports a normal blood sugar reading when your fasting blood sugar is ≤ 99 mg/dL (2019).
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: It’s a good idea to discuss your cholesterol level with your healthcare provider. Many factors may impact your cholesterol including age, sex, activity level, and dietary intake.
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