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Know Your Stats

Did you collect baseball cards as a kid? If so, you probably memorized your favorite players’ statistics, like home runs and RBIs. You may not be a pro ballplayer, but there are some important personal stats you should keep track of.

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure raises your risk for heart disease and stroke. The only way to know if you have it is to measure your blood pressure. When your doctor checks your blood pressure, he or she looks at two measures: systolic and diastolic. The gauge measures in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

The normal range is:

  • Systolic: less than 120 mmHg

  • Diastolic: less than 80 mmHg

If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication and lifestyle changes:

  • Diet. Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt, fat and cholesterol.

  • Be active. Take a brisk, 10-minute walk three times a day, five days a week.

  • Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit as soon as possible.

Blood Sugar

There are several types of blood-sugar tests to determine if you have prediabetes, Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Normal blood glucose readings are between 70 and 140 milligrams per deciliter.

If you get a diagnosis of diabetes, a diabetes educator can help you:

  • Develop a healthy eating plan.

  • Learn to test your blood sugar and record the results.

  • Recognize the signs of high or low blood sugar and what to do about it.

  • Monitor your feet, skin and eyes.

  • Manage stress and deal with diabetes care.

BMI

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters. A high BMI can indicate high body fat, though it’s not a direct measure. It can be an effective screening tool in assessing overall health.

The standard BMI weight ranges for adults are

BMI

Weight Status

Below 18.5

Underweight

18.5 – 24.9

Normal or Healthy Weight

25.0 – 29.9

Overweight

30.0+

Obese

Cancer Risk

Talk with your doctor about your cancer risk, especially if you’re age 50 or older. He or she may recommend screenings such as colonoscopy. These screenings can not only detect cancer, but prevent it. That’s because a doctor can remove pre-cancerous growths during the procedure.

Make sure you know your stats. Your doctor can perform appropriate assessments to evaluate your health status and risks.

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