Living Heart Healthy, Part 2: Know Your Numbers
During American Heart Month, there are many things you can do to stop heart disease from affecting yourself and those you love. An important first step in the journey to heart health is a comprehensive health screening to evaluate your heart risks and plan steps for improvement.
Numbers That Could Save Your Life
The following numbers are used to gauge an individual’s cardiovascular health. If you aren’t sure what your numbers are or you haven’t had them measured in a while, schedule a screening at RediClinic today.
- Blood pressure. One in three American adults has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and many don’t even know. Complications of high blood pressure include damage to the heart, arteries, brain, kidneys and eyes. Blood pressure is checked using a blood pressure cuff.
- Cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to the development of fatty deposits in blood vessels that increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. High cholesterol is often the result of poor lifestyle choices and can be managed with a healthy living plan. Cholesterol levels are checked using a simple blood test called a lipid (or cholesterol) profile. If your levels are high, your clinician can explain the newly updated guidelines on managing cholesterol.
- Weight. Assessment of heart health risk includes a measurement of body mass index, waist circumference and risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity. The results can determine if you’re currently at a healthy weight or at risk for serious health conditions due to excess body fat.
- Waist measurement. Surprisingly, your waist size predicts heart disease risk better than any other number. Waist size is more important than weight, because you can be gaining weight and still reducing your waist size if you are exercising and building muscle.
- Glucose (blood sugar). Your fasting blood sugar number indicates your risk for diabetes, a chronic disease that can lead to heart disease, nerve problems, blindness, kidney failure and a weakened immune system.
Know Your Numbers at RediClinic
Take care of your heart during American Heart Month by getting screened at RediClinic. Even if your tests show you are at high risk of heart disease, you can start today to make positive lifestyle changes to reduce your risk and potentially save your life.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of our “Living Heart Healthy” series, where we’ll discuss the role exercise plays in heart health.