Of all the important numbers you keep memorized—from your children’s ages to your phone password—there are five numbers related to heart health that you may not be so sharp on.
These five numbers are blood pressure, blood sugar, waist circumference, body mass index, and cholesterol level. These categories can impact how healthy your heart is and how likely you are to develop heart disease.
According to cardiologist Nelly Kazzaz, knowing how to control your “five numbers” is the primary way of preventing any kind of heart-related diseases. Kazzaz encourages everyone out there to visit their primary care provider and ask to know their five numbers, most of which can be tested in very simple, minimally-invasive ways.
If your five numbers aren’t where they should be—while accounting for family history and other factors—your doctor will most likely recommend lifestyle modifications first and may follow up with prescription medicine.
“Eighty percent of heart disease is preventable,” Kazzaz said. “If we do the right thing; lose weight, avoid eating unhealthy food, exercise, stop smoking, we can prevent up to 80% of heart disease which continues to be the number one killer of women.”
It’s also important to remember that not all heart disease symptoms or heart attacks feel like the stereotypical elephant sitting on your chest. As physician’s assistant Andrea Atcheson said, in women especially, heart attacks or heart problems may feel like indigestion or back pain.
For more information on heart health and the five numbers, visit TheHeartHealthAcademy.com.