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Smart Woman: New Year And New Health Goals

Doctors say a good way to work towards positive health goals is to know where you stand in the medical numbers game. So which numbers are the most important?
The world is filled with digits. Phone numbers, passwords: all are important but, knowing the numbers inside your body are the ones you should really know. So which numbers are we talking about?

Let's start with blood pressure. Your BP is a major risk factor for heart and kidney disease and stroke, keeping your numbers in line is important. If you're under 60, the American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure under 120/80. For those over 60, a little higher number is ok, but talk to your doctor.

Then there's your cholesterol. Overall cholesterol level under 200 is acceptable. But, you should know the difference between HDL and LDL. One is good. One is bad. HDL, the good cholesterol should be at least 40 milligrams. But levels above 60 milligrams, is considered protective against heart disease. LDL, the bad cholesterol, should be less than 100 milligrams which lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke. 

And your weight, height and waist size are important for knowing your body mass index ask your doctor if your weight is at a healthy level. That's because obesity can lead to heart disease, arthritis, acid reflux, sleep apnea even cancer.

Blood sugar numbers can tell you whether you may be pre-diabetic. According to the American Diabetes Association a fasting sugar level under 100 milligrams is good.

Knowing these numbers can help you work towards a healthier lifestyle and a happier new year.
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