A big part of protecting your health is “knowing your numbers.” That means getting regular screenings for key health indicators such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure and body mass index. These numbers help your doctor assess your risk of developing potentially life-threatening conditions like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Finding out whether or not your numbers are within normal range can save your life. Often, following a healthy lifestyle—balanced diet, regular exercise, no smoking—can even turn bad numbers around. To find out where you stand, and how often you should have your numbers checked, see the chart below.*

 

Health Marker Healthy Range How Often
Blood pressure 120/80 or lower Starting at age 18, then at least every two years
Total cholesterol 200 mg/dL or less • Age 20+, every five years
• After age 50, as per your doctor
HDL (“good” cholesterol) Over 40 mg/dL
LDL (“bad” cholesterol) Under 100 mg/dL
Triglycerides Under 150 mg/dL
Body mass index (BMI) 18.5 to 24.9 Once a year
Blood glucose A1C less than 5.7 percent Age 45+, every three years

*Your healthcare provider may suggest screening tests more frequently or at an earlier age, depending on your family history and other risk factors.

Sources: American Diabetes Association; American Heart Association; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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