Should I be worried about heart disease

Do you suffer from high cholesterol, High blood pressure or obesity? Do you feel that your numbers are too high?

You may be at risk of heart disease but knowing your numbers could improve your health and chances of preventing heart disease.

When is cholesterol too high?

Everybody has cholesterol in their blood. It plays a role in the manufacture of healthy cells, hormones, and bile for digestion. But, too much cholesterol can result in the build-up of fatty waste products in your arteries, which puts you at risk of heart attack and stroke.

Your doctor will take blood from you to get your total blood cholesterol. This is a measure of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and other lipid components in your blood.

Cholesterol numbers are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). A good total cholesterol measure is less than 200 mg/ dl (5 mmol/L).

What is high blood sugar?

People who have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart disease because high blood glucose from diabetes can damage the blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart. Diabetes is when the body’s normal ways of controlling blood sugar levels don’t function correctly.

Blood sugar levels become elevated when the body is unable to absorb the sugars from the food you eat into the bloodstream and use it for energy. Over time, blood sugar levels that are above the normal range can cause serious health complications. To check your blood sugar levels, your doctor will take a blood sample after an overnight fast. Like cholesterol, blood sugar is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

A fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) is considered to be normal.

What is deemed obese?

Obesity is widely considered to be a factor in heart disease. Rather than looking at weight only, doctors look at Body Mass Index (BMI) as well as waist circumference to determine the risk for diseases associated with being overweight.

Your BMI is a measure of the ratio between your weight and height. To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared. As most people carry their weight around their waist, it is also helpful to measure waist circumference to determine whether they are overweight. Use a measuring tape to measure your waist.

A person with a BMI of over 25 is deemed overweight, while anything over 30 is considered obese. A circumference of less than 35 inches (89 centimetres) for women and 40 inches (101 centimetres) for men is considered normal.