Know Your Numbers For Heart Health

Do you know your numbers?

No, not your height and weight. The numbers you need to know to safeguard your health. If you haven’t visited your doctor within the past year or two, you probably don’t know them - but you need to.

There is a system of numbers that allows you to assess your blood pressure, cholesterol, Body Mass Index (BMI) and glucose levels in comparison to the recommended levels. A routine exam from your doctor can let you know how you're doing so you can make positive changes that can help prevent the onset of chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

The numbers you need to know:  

  • Blood Pressure: A good number is 120/80 or below
  • HDL: Considered good cholesterol and should be above 40 mg/dL
  • LDL: Considered the bad cholesterol and should be below 130 mg/dL, (lower is better)
  • Total cholesterol (TC) level should be below 200mg/dL
  • Glucose: Used to diagnose diabetes, and a good indicator for many other health risks. A fasting blood sugar should be below 100 mg/dL
  • Body Mass Index (BMI): Taken with height and weight; a healthy range is between 18 and 25.

If you don’t know your numbers, schedule an appointment with your doctor. In the meantime, you can use tools like this BMI calculator to get started.

Note: The information contained in this article has been carefully reviewed for accuracy. It is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider.



The percentage of the bill you pay after your deductible has been met.


A fixed amount you pay when you get a covered health service.

Tiered benefit plan

A health care plan featuring multiple levels of benefits based on the network status of a particular provider. 


The annual amount you pay for covered health services before your insurance begins to pay.

emergency care services

Any covered services received in a hospital emergency room setting.


Includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy

in-network provider

A provider contracted by your insurance company to accept an agreed upon payment for covered services. 

OUT-OF-network provider

A term for providers that aren’t contracting with your insurance company. (Your out-of-pocket costs will tend to be more expensive if you go to an out-of-network provider.)


Your expenses for medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance, including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments.


If you can afford health insurance, but choose not to buy it, you must have a health coverage exemption or pay a tax penalty on your federal income tax return.


The amount you pay to your health insurance company each month. 

Preventive services

Health care services that focus on the prevention of disease and health maintenance.


Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured or have surgery. This includes physical, occupational and speech therapy.

special enrollment period

The time after the Open Enrollment Period when you can still purchase health insurance only if you have a qualifying life event (losing other health coverage, having a baby, getting married, moving).


A physician who has a majority of his or her practice in fields other than internal or general medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics or family practice.