Ideal blood pressure numbers can vary based on a variety of factors, including your age and overall health. Generally, you want your blood pressure to be lower than the ranges listed below. If your blood pressure is too high, you should follow up with your doctor regularly.
- >130/80 = Stage 1 hypertension – See your doctor at least once a year.
- >140/90 = Stage 2 hypertension – See your doctor every few weeks or months.
- > 180/120 = Hypertension crisis – See your doctor that day.
For cholesterol, optimal levels again depend on your age and health conditions. Be aware that your test may include results for your total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but it’s your LDL and HDL cholesterol numbers that should be your primary concern.
- LDL “bad” cholesterol: When it comes to your LDL cholesterol, the lower your number the better. Less than 100 is recommended for people with diabetes and even lower with other cardiovascular diseases such as a previous heart attack. Depending on your overall health, you may be able to have safe LDL levels of 160 or higher.
- HDL “good” cholesterol: For this type of cholesterol, the higher your number the better. Ideally, your number will be 50 or above.
Doctors recommend that individuals over the age of 30 have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every three to five years. If your numbers are abnormal or if you have other health conditions, you may need more frequent tests.
The Final Word in Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Your Heart Health
Blood pressure and cholesterol tests are incredibly easy to complete. A blood pressure test is as simple as having a cuff wrapped around your arm, while a cholesterol test involves nothing more than a quick blood draw. Keep in mind that if your numbers are outside of the “normal” ranges for your age and health status, you should speak with your doctor about medications and lifestyle changes that can help correct your levels and minimize your risk of heart disease. You have the power to change your health for the better!