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)

Schedule an appointment for a Know Your Numbers Screening.

 

Health indicator 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.

Total Cholesterol/
HDL Ratio
Goal: <3.5

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

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.