Dr. Oz's Know Your 5: The Lifesaving Numbers You Need to Know

Dr. Oz reveals the 5 numbers every American needs to know, imparting critical medical insights that can help you save your own life.

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To begin taking charge of your own health, there are 5 crucial numbers Dr. Oz wants you to know. Make knowing them your mantra, and you’ll be on the road to a healthier, longer life.

1. Blood Pressure

Over 50 million American adults have high blood pressure, also called hypertension; within this range,1 out of every 3 isn’t even aware they have this serious medical condition. High blood pressure can cause a host medical problems including cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and stroke, which can strike suddenly. 

  • Your blood pressure can be tested in several places like your doctor’s office or at a pharmacy. Learn how to test your own blood pressure and invest in a device you can use at home. 
  • Get in the habit of testing your blood pressure once a month. Make sure each time to test it at the same point in the day, when you’re most relaxed. For accuracy, take 3 readings and figure out the average number between them.
  • Pay attention to the top number – the systolic pressure, which indicates the pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood – the best lifelong measurement for hypertension. A systolic reading above 140 is considered too high and warrants seeing your doctor.

2. Waist Size

If you’re sporting a large waistline, your risk of dying prematurely is nearly double. The reason is because belly fat, often fondly referred to as a spare tire or a beer gut – sends out a toxic stream of chemicals impacting the whole body.

  • Take your waist size once each month with a measuring tape.  
  • Measure at your natural waistline, which is above your hipbone and below the ribcage – not where your belt lies or around your hips. Be mindful of your posture and suck in your stomach since the fat you’re measuring is deep inside the belly. 
  • A waist size over 35 inches in women and over 40 inches in men greatly increases the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and more.  
  • The ideal waist size for women is 32 ½ inches and 35 inches for men. Click here to learn your body mass index, or BMI, to see how your waist size can impact your overall health.