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Know Your Numbers: A Guide to Heart Health

Heart health is crucial for overall well-being, and understanding the numbers associated with it can empower you to take control of your cardiovascular health. Here’s a simple guide to the key numbers you should know:

Blood Pressure

This measures the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. A healthy blood pressure reading is typically around 120/80 mmHg. The top number (systolic pressure) represents the pressure when your heart beats, and the bottom number (diastolic pressure) is the pressure when your heart rests between beats.

Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is a waxy substance in your blood that can build up and clog arteries if levels are too high. You should aim for:

  • Total Cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dL
  • LDL (Bad) Cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL (Good) Cholesterol: Above 40 mg/dL for men and above 50 mg/dL for women

Blood Sugar Levels

Elevated blood sugar levels can increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Aim for:

  • Fasting Blood Sugar: Less than 100 mg/dL
  • Hemoglobin A1c: Less than 5.7%

Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. Calculate your BMI to assess if you’re at a healthy weight. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal.

Waist Circumference

Excess fat around the waist can increase the risk of heart disease. Measure your waist at the level of your belly button. For men, aim for less than 40 inches, and for women, less than 35 inches.

Knowing these numbers is the first step towards improving your heart health. Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider can help you monitor these values and take necessary actions to keep your heart in top condition.

Heart disease is the number one killer among women, but remember that small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in protecting your heart for years to come! Schedule an appointment with with primary care provider to find out your updated numbers. If you don’t have a primary care provider, click the button below!

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