7 Heart Numbers to Watch

Chances are, when you think of heart risk, you do a quick mental review of your cholesterol levels. Those numbers are important, but others are key as well if you want to whittle away your danger.

7 Heart Numbers to WatchPhoto: ShutterStock

  1. Total cholesterol: should be under 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).
  2. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): should be under 100 mg/dl.
  3. High-density lipoprotein (HDL): should be above 50 mg/dl for women, and above 40 for men.
  4. Triglycerides: should be under 150 mg/dl. Fasting blood sugar should be under 100 mg/dl.
  5. Blood pressure: should be no higher than 120/80 mmHg.
  6. Body mass index (BMI): shouldn’t be higher than 25. If your BMI (your weight-to-height ratio) tops that figure, your heart risk increases 32%. Over 29 and it spikes 81%.
  7. Waist circumference: should be 35 inches or less for women and no more than 40 inches for men.

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