Know Your Numbers
It’s no secret that heart disease is killing us. Every year, 800,000
men and women die of cardiovascular disease. Every 40 seconds, someone
dies of heart disease, stroke, or heart failure. Heart disease is the
No. 1 killer of adults in the U.S., more than any other illness.
Heart disease is an American Tragedy: Today, 90 million Americans live
with cardiovascular disease, and millions more are affected by watching
their mother, father, brother, sister, friend or co-worker struggle with
There is something you can do to avoid the tragedy, and it’s pretty
simple. Know the six numbers that help your heart stay healthy …
and work to achieve those numbers. Click on the drop down boxes below
to learn more about these six numbers and how they impact your heart health.
Know your numbers!
King’s Daughters offers a easy, affordable and convenient way to
know your numbers, and monitor them over time: The Low-Cost Blood Profile
screening. The LCBP includes comprehensive blood chemistry panel (including
fasting blood sugar and complete blood count); lipid panel (cholesterol,
LDL, HDL, and triglycerides); and thyroid stimulating hormone levels.
The cost for the entire battery of tests is just $25. For an additional
$5, you can receive the A1C test.
We offer the Low-Cost Blood Profile from 7 to 9 a.m. on the second Friday
of every month at our Center for Advanced Imaging, 2225 Central Ave.,
Ashland. Additional screenings ae scheduled at our other locations throughout
Find a Low-Cost Blood Profile screening near you on our Events Calendar.
Need a Cardiologist?
King's Daughters cardiologists are conveniently located throughout
eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. In many cases, they can see you within
48 hours. No physician referral needed! For more information or to schedule
an appointment, please call (606) 324-4745.
The 6 Numbers to Know
#1 - Tobacco Use
The number to know here is ZERO. There is no level of tobacco use (including
vaping and eCigarettes) that is safe. Smoking is the single, largest preventable
cause of heart disease in the U.S. Tobacco smoke contains high levels
of carbon monoxide, which affects the heart by reducing the amount of
oxygen the blood is able to carry. At the same time, the nicotine found
in tobacco (and vaping liquids) causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
If you use tobacco/nicotine of any kind, quit. If you fail, try again.
And keep trying until you succeed. Ask for help from your doctor. Or call
King’s Daughters Tobacco Cessation program at (606) 408-6400 for
group and individual support.
#2 - Blood Pressure
Thirty-four percent of Americans have high blood pressure; half of them
don’t know it. Hypertension causes heart attack, stroke, heart failure,
kidney disease, blindness, aneurysm and death. High blood pressure usually
has no symptoms, so it’s important to have your blood pressure checked
regularly, especially if you are hypertensive or have an elevated blood
pressure. For most people, the recommended blood pressure numbers are 120/80.
#3 - Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance naturally made by the body and contained
in some of the foods we eat. There are two components to cholesterol:
low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL
is considered the bad cholesterol, because it tends to cling to the inside
walls of arteries, causing the arteries to narrow and sometimes causing
blockages. HDL is the “good” cholesterol. It actually helps
to remove LDL from the blood stream. Numbers to know: total cholesterol
- 200 or less; LDL - less than 60; HDL - 50 or more.
#4 - Blood Sugar
Those with diabetes are at significantly increased risk for heart disease,
vascular disease, stroke and many other serious health problems. Limiting
carbohydrate intake, especially in the form of sugary, non-nutritive foods
like soft drinks, baked goods, and candy, can help bring down blood sugar
levels. The number to know here is a fasting blood sugar level that’s
less than 100. If you have diabetes, the recommendation is slightly different,
but the goal is to keep blood sugar levels under steady control.
Another number to consider when it comes to blood sugar is the A1C. This
is a measure of blood sugar levels over time. An A1C of 5.7 or less is
considered normal; 5.7 to 6.4 is considered prediabetic; 6.5 and greater
is considered diabetic.
#5 - Body Mass Index (BMI)
This is simply a measure of body fat based on one’s height and weight.
A normal BMI is anywhere between 18.5 and 24.9. BMI charts and calculators
are available online. There are also apps for iPhone and Android operating
systems that can be downloaded.
#6 - Exercise!
Most experts recommend getting 30 minutes of exercise a day, most days
of the week, or about 150 minutes every week. You don’t have to
get all 30 minutes at one time. Three 10-minute walks are beneficial,
too. Just remember, every hour you walk increases your life expectancy
by two hours!