Your Heart Numbers
The first step to taking care of your heart is to know key numbers. Keep up with annual physicals so your doctor can run the most critical screenings for heart disease. These include measuring:
• Weight and BMI (body mass index)
• Waist circumference
• Blood pressure
• Fasting blood sugar
By knowing the results, your doctor can prescribe specific lifestyle changes, or in some cases, certain medications, to help manage any risk factors. If you smoke, ask your doctor to recommend a smoking cessation plan. Smoking is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries – which can lead to coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
If you are not due for a physical, you still can learn and manage some of these numbers on your own. Certain pharmacies offer blood pressure screenings and blood glucose tests. Check your weight by stepping on a scale and determine your BMI with Dr. Oz's online calculator. Dr. Oz's online calculator.