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Know Your Numbers

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American men and women − claiming more than 2,400 lives every day. That's 1 death every 37 seconds. But you have the power to change these statistics. The first step is to understand your personal risk factors. Some − such as age, race and family history − cannot be changed. But there is a lot you can do to minimize the others ... when you know your numbers.

High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also called "hypertension," is a major risk factor for heart disease. When your blood pressure is elevated, your heart is forced to work harder. If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause damage to the arteries and to your heart itself:

  • Systolic: Less than 120 and Less than 80 Normal
  • Diastolic: 120-139 or 80-89 Prehypertension
  • Risk: 140 & Above or 90 & Above Hypertension

High Cholesterol
High cholesterol levels greatly increase a person's risk of heart disease. When it comes to understanding cholesterol, it's important to know your total, LDL and HDL cholesterol numbers.

  • Level Risk
    • Below 200 − Desirable
    • 200-239 − Borderline
    • 240 & Above − High

LDL Cholesterol
LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein or "bad" cholesterol) contributes to plaque buildup and clogging of the arteries.

  • Level Risk
    • Below 100 − Optimal
    • 100-129 − Near Optimal
    • 130-159 − Borderline
    • 160-189 − High
    • 190 & Above − Very High

HDL Cholesterol
HDL (High Density Lipoprotein or "good" cholesterol) protects the heart by helping to remove LDL deposits from your arteries.

  • Level Risk
    • 60 & Above − Desirable
    • 40-59 − Moderate
    • Below 40 − High

Of course, cholesterol values need to be individualized, taking into account all your heart disease risk factors.

Reduce your risk
Interested in finding out what your heart attack risk factors are? Let Saint Agnes help. Visit, and click on Health Assessments to take a five minute heart assessment − measuring your blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides levels, exercise and diet. Listening to your body is key!

©  2015 

Saint Agnes Medical Center | 1303 E. Herndon Ave. Fresno, CA 93720 | 559-450-3000