When it comes to staying healthy, one of the most important things you can do is know where you stand. Regular checkups and screenings can give you the tools you need to understand your health status and risk factors.
Your primary care physician can perform a simple checkup to give you a lifesaving preview of your heart disease and stroke risk.
There are many indicators of health. Some of the main ones you should know are:
- Blood pressure – High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Nutrition, physical activity, stress and heredity all play a role in determining your blood pressure. A blood pressure less than 120 over 80 is considered normal.
- Blood sugar – Glucose, the sugar stored in your blood, should be less than 100. Glucose levels that are too high or too low can indicate diabetes.
- Cholesterol – The normal range for cholesterol is 200 or less. High total cholesterol can lead to heart attack or stroke. The level of HDL (or good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) is also important to know.
- Body Mass Index (BMI) – This is a measure of your height in relation to your weight. A healthy BMI is less than 25.
- Family history – Many health risk factors are passed on within families. Knowing if a close relative has or had serious health issues can be a warning for you.
You can also call MedLIne® at (800) 242-5662 for a physician referral.