6 Numbers to Know for Heart Health
Dr. Todd Langager, cardiologist at St. Luke's Heart Care Clinic, outlines six numbers to know for heart health.
The first number is your resting heart rate.
That is how quickly or slowly your heart beats while in a relaxed, comfortable state. Typically we want that number to be between 60 and 100 beats per minute. With the ideal probably being in the 60-to-80-beats-per-minute range.
The second number that's important to know is your systolic blood pressure.
That's the top number of the blood pressure reading. For example, if your blood pressure is 120 over 80, 120 is systolic. A normal systolic reading is considered less than 130 for most individuals.
The third number that you need to know is your LDL or "bad" cholesterol.
This can be checked through a simple blood test at your physician's office. There is no one value that applies to everyone. The optimal LDL for individuals varies depending upon several risk factors or conditions. It is important for your physician to identify the optimal LDL level for you.
The fourth and fifth numbers are waist size and body composition,
which is your ratio of body fat water and muscles. Those numbers depend upon your gender, age and height. So be sure to consult with your physician on numbers that are best for your body type.
Finally, the six number is your hemoglobin A1C.
Although this sounds intimidating, it is simply your average blood sugar over the past three months, normal is considered less than 6%.
Keeping these numbers in a normal range significantly reduces your risk of heart and vascular disease. Be sure to see your primary care provider at least once a year to monitor their status.
To learn more about heart health, visit unitypoint.org/heart or call St. Luke's Heart Care Clinic at (319) 364-7101 to speak to a cardiologist.