Numbers You Should Know
Your blood pressure and cholesterol level — what should they be? Check out the numbers below to know if you’re on target, or need some help.
Blood pressure: Systolic (pressure while the heart contracts to pump blood to the body) is the higher number and is stated first. Your number should be below 120. Diastolic (representing the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats) is the lower number and should be under 80. If either number is elevated, it could indicate high blood pressure, often referred to as “the silent killer,” since it usually carries no symptoms. Medical professionals recommend having your blood pressure checked at least once every two years.
Cholesterol level: According to the American Heart Association, cholesterol plays a major role in a person’s heart health. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. That’s why it’s important for all people to know their cholesterol level. They should also learn about their other risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Total blood cholesterol is the most common measurement of blood cholesterol. It’s the number you receive in test results and should be 200 mg/dL, or milligrams per deciliter of blood.