Blood Pressure :: Health Tip – Know Your Blood Pressure

Are your pressure and cholesterol levels within normal range?

Blood pressure and cholesterol levels are excellent indicators of heart disease risk. If your levels are in or nearing the dangerous range, you’ll need to take action to protect your heart and your health.

But what are those levels? Here’s a list of recommendations, courtesy of the American Heart Association:

Normal blood pressure, taken at rest, should be 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or lower. High blood pressure is considered 140/90 mm Hg or higher, and prehypertension is any reading between normal and high blood pressure.

People with blood pressure in the prehypertensive range (between 120 and 139 systolic pressure and 80 and 90 diastolic pressure) should make lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease.

Total cholesterol should be below 200 mg/dL. High cholesterol is any reading of 240 mg/dL or higher, and moderate risk is anything in between normal and high cholesterol.

LDL is “bad” cholesterol. That reading should be below 100 mg/dL, and anything higher than 160 mg/dL is considered a high risk for heart disease.

HDL is “good” cholesterol. That reading should be between 40-50 mg/dL for men and 50-60 mg/dL for women. Anything less than 40 mg/dL is considered a high risk for heart disease.

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