Knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI) are vital in determining whether you are at risk for developing major illnesses, such as heart disease or diabetes.
- Cholesterol - Cholesterol is found in every cell of your body and has important natural functions when it comes to digesting foods, producing hormones and generating vitamin D. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL (low-density lipoproteins, bad cholesterol) and HDL (high-density lipoproteins, good cholesterol). Start having your cholesterol checked every five years beginning at age 20.
- HDL: Your HDL level should be above 60.
- LDL: Your LDL level should be below 130.
- Blood Pressure - High blood pressure means the pressure in your arteries is higher than it should be. Stage 1 high blood pressure, also known as hypertension 1, is consistently measured at 130 over 80-89 or greater. There are two more stages of high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause heart failure, aneurysms, kidney failure and strokes. Get your blood pressure checked at least once every year.
- Blood Sugar - Glucose is sugar that is stored in the blood as your main source of energy. If your glucose levels are consistently too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia), you can develop diabetes. Get your blood sugar tested every three years, unless you have prediabetes, in which case you should get it checked every year.
- BMI - BMI measures body fat according to height and weight and correlates with your risk of disease and death. A BMI of over 25 indicates that you may be overweight and a BMI of 30 or higher indicates you may be obese, while a BMI of less than 18.5 indicates you may be underweight.
Please speak with your doctor if you have questions about any of these numbers.
For more risk management tips or to discuss your Health & Employee Benefits plans with one of our Risk Advisors, contact us today.
This article is to be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a legal or medical professional. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.
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