Learn why you should pay attention to the warning signs of heart disease.
Blood pressure and cholesterol readings are a simple, important way to monitor your heart health and determine your risk of developing serious heart disease. When your doctor suggests monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol, it’s important to follow through and stay on top of recommended screenings. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, work closely with your healthcare provider to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
According to the CDC, people with high total cholesterol have approximately twice the risk of heart disease as people with optimal levels. How often should you have your cholesterol checked? The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that adults have cholesterol levels checked every five years. Don’t wait for a high reading to give you a wakeup call. Practice prevention by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and eating well. If you smoke, quit today. If you have already been screened and have cholesterol, follow through with your doctors recommendations, including any recommended medications.
Why is blood pressure a big deal? The CDC reports that high blood pressure was listed as a primary or contributing cause of death for more than 347,000 Americans in 2008. When you have high blood pressure, it can contribute to death from stroke or heart disease. You may have no symptoms at all. Blood pressure screenings are very easy to do, and can even be done at home or with a machine at your local pharmacy. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, carefully follow your doctor’s orders. Stay on top of recommended medications and adjust your diet and lifestyle to help lower your blood pressure.
If you have questions about your cholesterol or blood pressure readings, the team at the Heart Institute at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center can help. Visit us online or call our free Consult-A-Nurse service at 1-800-446-6956 for a physician referral.