Mixed in with maze of names, numbers and passwords we’re expected to remember, health experts hope one set will stand out. When they ask ‘do you know your numbers?’ the answer should come from the heart.
“Absolutely. Again I think with more knowledge, there’s more power,” says Dr. Elizabeth Cosmi- Cintron, cardiologist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.
Someone, somewhere in the US has a heart attack every 34 seconds. A number will be fatal. Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women. But it can often be prevented. It starts by knowing the ‘Big Three’.
“Everyone should have a baseline cholesterol check. You at least want to know your numbers in terms of the break down components. There is a thing called LDL, which is your bad cholesterol. Good cholesterol is HDL and triglyceride,” says Dr. Cosmi- Cintron.
It’s also important to get a good read on how hard your heart is working.
“What is your blood pressure on a day –to-day basis? In other words, if your blood pressure is running high all the time and you’re not aware of it, that’s going to be a potential risk for heart disease,” says Dr. Cosmi- Cintron.
Rounding out the top three is weight.
“What is your body mass index? If your body mass index is over 25 you’re considered overweight and certainly a body mass index over 30 is considered obese. Those tend to be risk factors to develop other medical problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure, which then could leave to cardiovascular disease,” says Dr. Cosmi- Cintron.
This set of data may give you an early indication that trouble is brewing. So when it comes to your heart health, it’s important to know the numbers that count.