MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Cardiologists at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute are encouraging everyone to schedule an appointment with their physicians to learn their personal numbers this month, which is American Heart Month.
In order to assess a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke, it is important for them to learn four key numbers: blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index (BMI), and cholesterol.
“There are some risk factors for heart disease and stroke that you simply have no control over. Those are age, gender, and family history. But, there are factors that everyone can control, and they include things like blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol, and exercise,” Ramesh Daggubati, M.D., chief of Cardiology at the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, said. “That is why it is important for us to learn our numbers – to do everything we can to prevent heart attack and stroke.”
According to the American Heart Association, ideal numbers for most adults are:
- Blood pressure – 120/80 mm Hg
- Blood sugar – 100 mg/dL (fasting)
- BMI – 25 kg/m2
- Cholesterol – less than 200 mg/dL (total)
“Once you know your numbers, you will understand where the warning signs are, and we can come up with a plan to address them,” Dr. Daggubati said. “Small changes, like eating better, moving more, and quitting smoking, can have a big impact.”
Anyone in search of a cardiologist can call the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute at 855-WVU-CARE to schedule an appointment.
“We schedule our cars for routine maintenance – oil changes, tire rotations, etc. – to extend the lives of our vehicles,” Daggubati said. “We need to take that same kind of proactive approach with our health to extend our own lives, too.”
For more information on the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, visit WVUMedicine.org/Heart.