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Doctors @OSUWexMed share the 5 numbers you need to know by heart. Do you know them? bit.ly/1hrnTbY  
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Martha Gulati, MD, MS, FACC, FAHA


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5 Numbers You Need To Know But.. Probably Don't

Survey: 2 out of 3 don’t know healthy BMI - BP and LDL numbers important, too

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) February 2014 – Do you know what a healthy BMI number is? If you don’t, you’re not alone.  A new national survey has found nearly 2 out of 3 Americans don’t know, and that could be putting their health at risk.

“There really are five numbers everyone should know when it comes to heart health,” said Martha Gulati, MD, director of preventive cardiology and women’s cardiovascular health at  The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  “It may seem overwhelming at first, but once you learn those numbers, they can not only tell you how healthy you are today, but can help your doctor predict heart problems in the future,” she said.

In addition to your body mass index, or BMI, you should also know your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and the circumference of your waist at the belly button.  “As simple as it sounds, every day doctors use those same five numbers to get a good snapshot of your health - and you should know them by heart,” Gulati said.

To learn more about the numbers and where yours should be, click on the video box on the left.  To read the press release “click to read more” below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIVE NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW BY HEART FOR GOOD HEART HEALTH

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Pass codes, phone numbers, social security numbers, clothing sizes and addresses. We all have a lot of numbers in our heads, but heart experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say there are five more you need to know to help keep your cardiovascular system healthy.

“These are the numbers doctors use to assess someone’s risk for getting heart disease, both short term and throughout their lifetime,” says Dr. Martha Gulati, director of preventive cardiology and women’s cardiovascular health at Ohio State’s Ross Heart Hospital. “When you monitor these numbers, you are empowered to work with your doctor to improve your heart health.”

Gulati says the most important numbers to know are:

  • Blood pressure – This is the force of blood against the walls of the arteries. It’s measured as two numbers - the systolic pressure, as the heart beats, over the diastolic pressure, as the heart relaxes between beats. A normal blood pressure is under 120/80. Talk to your doctor if it is higher than that. Simple lifestyle changes can help you lower your blood pressure and potentially avoid medication.
  • BMI – Body Mass Index is the measurement of your weight for your body surface area and it’s considered a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people. A recent national survey commissioned by Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center found nearly 2 out of 3 Americans don’t know what’s considered to be a healthy BMI.  Use this BMI calculator to get your number. A BMI less than 18.5 is underweight. Below 25 is normal. A BMI of 25 through 29.9 is overweight, and 30 or higher is considered obese. “Knowing where you lie within that spectrum is really important because sometimes people will be very accepting of their weight thinking ‘Well, that number sounds reasonable.’ But is it reasonable for their height?” Gulati said.
  • Waist circumference – Fat that is carried around the abdomen increases the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Measure your waist at the belly button, not where your clothing waistband sits. Gulati says women should be at least less than 35 inches and men should be less than 40 inches at the waist.
  • Cholesterol – While the body makes all of the cholesterol it needs, it is also readily found in food. High cholesterol can lead to heart disease and atherosclerosis, or build-up of plaque in the arteries. Gulati says it’s important to know your total cholesterol number and your low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, number. That’s the bad cholesterol that can cause problems. A healthy cholesterol number is below 200. A healthy LDL number is below 100.
  • Blood sugar – This reading tells doctors how much glucose is in the blood. High levels of blood glucose cause diabetes, which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. A healthy fasting blood sugar number is under 100 after not eating for eight hours.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, killing about 600,000 Americans each year.

“Information is power,” Gulati said. “If you can reduce any of those numbers, you can lower your overall lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.”

 

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Five numbers you should know by heart
Shanna Keeler of Powell, Ohio, checks her blood pressure daily to keep tabs on her health. Doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say in addition to your blood pressure, you should also know your BMI, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and waist size.
/newmedia/mcp/osunch/2014/feb14/knowyournumbers/8-Images/1-Photos/02_Shanna_log.jpg
Survey finds nearly 2 out of 3 don`t know healthy BMI number
Researchers have found that nearly 2 out of 3 people in a national survey did not know what a health BMI (body mass index) number should be. Because of a strong family history of heart disease, Shanna Keeler of Powell, Ohio, not only knows her BMI, but the four other numbers experts suggest you know. Doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels and your waist size are all important numbers to know for good health and predictors of future heart problems.
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How knowing your family history - and these 5 numbers - can save your life
Doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center say knowing your family history and 5 simple numbers could make a huge difference in your heart health. Shanna Keeler of Powell, Ohio, looks at photos of those who have struggled with heart disease in her family with her children. Doctors say knowing a healthy BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and your waist size can help them keep close tabs on your heart and size up your risk for problems in the future.
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5 numbers doctors use to evaluate your heart health
Martha Gulati, MD, checks the heart of a patient at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Gulati says every patient should know five numbers: BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and your waist size. Those five numbers give doctors a comprehensive snapshot of the health of your heart and can help them predict problems in the future.
/newmedia/mcp/osunch/2014/feb14/knowyournumbers/8-Images/1-Photos/05_Gulati_exam_vertical.jpg
Survey: Most don`t know what a healthy BMI number is
A new survey found that nearly 2 out of 3 Americans did not know what a healthy number for BMI, or body mass index, should be. Dr. Martha Gulati of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center says knowing your BMI and four other numbers is key to good heart health. In addition to your BMI, Gulati says you should also know these numbers by heart: blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and the circumference of your waist.
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The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
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The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
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