Know Your Numbers

We live our lives by the numbers: phone numbers, PIN numbers, stock market numbers, but do you know the heart health numbers that could literally save your life?

Key Numbers for Heart Health

1 - Blood PressureLess than 130/85 mm Hg
2 - Fasting Blood GlucoseLess than 100 mg/dL
3 - Triglycerides Less than 150 mg/dL
4 - HDLGreater than 50 mg/dL for women; greater than 40 mg/dL for men 
5 - Waist CircumferenceLess than 35 inches for women; less than 40 inches for men 

If you are outside of the normal range for three or more of the components listed above, then you have metabolic syndrome. 

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that increase your chance for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and stroke. The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommend that the metabolic syndrome be identified as the presence of three or more of the components listed above.

The metabolic syndrome has become increasingly common in the United States. It's estimated that more than 50 million Americans have it.

Managing the Metabolic Syndrome

If you follow a healthy lifestyle — eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, and avoid smoking — you can turn bad numbers around. Even small changes in your physical activity, your nutrition, and your smoking habits can have a major impact on your heart health. 

For managing both long- and short-term risk, lifestyle therapies are the first-line interventions to reduce the metabolic risk factors.

These lifestyle interventions include:

  • Weight loss to achieve a desirable weight (BMI less than 25 kg/m2)
  • Increased physical activity, with a goal of at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week
  • Healthy eating habits that include reduced intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol

Reduce the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease: stop smoking and reduce LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose levels to the recommended levels.

Learn more about Metabolic Syndrome

Don't Know your Numbers?

Make an appointment with your doctor or one of BSA’s cardiac specialists for a health screening to include blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and waist circumference.