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Know Your Body’s Numbers

Blood pressure, blood lipids, blood sugar and body weight should be monitored by you and your physician on a regular basis.

The values included in a complete lipid panel are relative to each other, and it sometimes seems as though HDL + LDL should equal Total Cholesterol. But, the formula is a bit more detailed:

Total Cholesterol = HDL + LDL + (Triglycerides/5)

Contact your physician or PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center’s LifeQuest Program ((360) 738-6720) for information on free or low-cost screenings to find out your body’s numbers.

 

 

Health indicator Your number What it means

Total Cholesterol
Goal: <200 mg/dL

High total cholesterol increases your risk of heart disease. A value below 200 mg/dl is considered desirable.

HDL Cholesterol
(high density lipoprotein)
Goal: >60 mg/dL

This “happy” cholesterol protects against heart disease. The higher the value, the more protection you have against heart disease.

LDL Cholesterol
(low density lipoprotein)
Goal: <100 mg/dL

This “lousy” cholesterol appears to clog blood vessels. A value below 100 mg/dl is considered optimal.

Triglycerides
Goal: <150 mg/dL

This circulating fat is a risk factor for heart disease.

Blood Pressure
Goal: systolic <120 mm Hg
diastolic <80 mm Hg

High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease.

Fasting Blood Glucose
Goal: 70-100 mg/dL

A high fasting blood glucose level may indicate diabetes, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

Hemoglobin A1c
Goal: <4.0-6.0%

For diabetics, this is a two to three month average of blood sugar control. Better control has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Body Mass Index (BMI) 
Goal: 20-25 kg/m2

BMI compares your weight to your height. A BMI above 25 is a risk factor for heart disease.

Another way to assess your risk is to use your risk ratio, which is generally calculated for you as part of a complete lipid panel.

Total Cholesterol/
HDL Ratio
Goal: <3.5

The most common ratio compares your total cholesterol to your HDL cholesterol.

 

 
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