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Know Your Heart Numbers and Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Deer Valley Hospital
19829 N. 27th Ave.
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
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North Mountain Hospital
250 E. Dunlap Ave.
Phoenix, Arizona 85020
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» Request a referral to a John C. Lincoln cardiac specialist.

Do you know your numbers? That is, do you know your blood pressure, your cholesterol levels and body mass index? You're definitely not alone if you don't.

By knowing your numbers, you can know whether your heart is healthy — or at risk for heart disease. Charting your blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, waist measurement and body mass index (BMI) over time can help you know whether you're keeping your heart health in check, or making progress toward your health goals.

John C. Lincoln encourages you to see your doctor and have your numbers checked.

Test Measurements
Blood Pressure
Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart is at rest between beats. An example of a normal reading is "115 over 75."
Category Systolic (Top Number) Over Diastolic (Bottom Number)
Normal Less than 120 And Less than 80
Prehypertension 120 - 139 Or 80 - 89
High blood pressure (stage 1) 140 - 159 Or 90 - 99
High blood pressure (stage 2) 160 or higher Or 100 or higher
Cholesterol Note: "mg/dL" stands for milligrams per deciliter
LDL ("Bad" lipids)

Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL

Near or above optimal: 100 - 129 mg/dL

Borderline high: 130 - 159 mg/dL

High: 160 - 189 mg/dL

HDL ("Good" lipids)

Ideal: More than 60 mg/dL for men and women is considered protective against heart disease.

Women: Less than 50 mg/dL is considered low and a risk for heart disease.

Men: Less than 40 mg/dL is considered low and a risk for heart disease.

Total Cholesterol (LDL + HDL)

Optimal: Less than 200 mg/dL

Borderline high: 200 to 239 mg/dL

High: 240 mg/dL and above

Triglycerides

Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL

Borderline high: 150 - 199 mg/dL

High: 200 - 499 mg/dL

Very high: 500 mg/dL and above

Glucose

Normal: Up to 100 mg/dL

Persons with levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL have impaired fasting glucose, or prediabetes. These levels are considered to be risk factors for type 2 diabetes and its complications.

Diabetes is diagnosed in persons with fasting blood glucose levels that are 126 mg/dL or higher.

Waist Measurement
Women

Normal: Less than 35 inches

Men

Normal: Less than 40 inches

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Underweight: Below 18.5

Normal: 18.5 - 24.9

Overweight: 25.0 - 29.9

Obese: 30.0 and higher

Calculate your BMI online now

If your numbers are higher than what is considered healthy for your age, gender and size, make lifestyle changes and seek treatment. Lifestyle changes can include quitting smoking; eating a vegetable-rich, low-saturated fat diet; and 30 minutes of moderate exercise four days per week. Learn more about these and other ways to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.