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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Be Heart Smart! - Part 2

Know Your Numbers!
Knowing your cholesterol, blood pressure readings, and glucose levels should be as familiar as your  shoe size.  It can help determine the health of your heart.  The chart below gives guidelines for where your numbers should be.  Need to be tested?  Almost any doctors office will check your blood pressure or Walgreens is offering free screenings during the month of February.  Ask your doctor about cholesterol and blood glucose checks.  If you don't see your doctor regularly, many hospitals or health systems offer these screenings at health fairs for free or at a minimal cost.  

It's never to early to start screening.  Blood pressure screenings start early in life and cholesterol and glucose testing is recommended in your 20s.  This could be the most important test of your life!

Total CholesterolLess than 200 mg/dL
LDL ("Bad") CholesterolLDL cholesterol goals vary.
Less than 100 mg/dL

100 to 129 mg/dL

130 to 159 mg/dL

160 to 189 mg/dL

190 mg/dL and above

Near Optimal/Above Optimal

Borderline High


Very High
HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol50 mg/dL or higher
Triglycerides<150 mg/dL
Blood Pressure<120/80 mmHg
Fasting Glucose<100 mg/dL
Body Mass Index (BMI)<25 Kg/m²
Waist Circumference<35 inches
ExerciseMinimum of 30 minutes most days, if not all days of the week
         American Heart Association

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