Prevention of Heart Disease and Strokes

Know Your Blood Pressure. Although each individual’s blood pressure varies a bit and what is normal for you might not be for someone else, there is a healthy range. If the top number (systolic) is more than 135, or if the lower one (diastolic) is more than 90, you should go to a doctor to be evaluated for high blood pressure. As a diabetic you should be visiting your doctor at least 4 times a year, but you can always go to your nearest pharmacy and have them take your blood pressure. Today, there are also moderately priced home blood pressure cuffs, so you can keep track if high blood pressure is an ongoing problem. Lifestyle changes and, perhaps, medication may be in order to bring your blood pressure back into the normal range.

Keep your blood pressure under control. Have it checked at every doctor visit. The target for most people is below 130/80 mg/dL.

Keep your cholesterol under control. Have it checked at least once a year. The targets for most people are:

  • Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dL
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol: below 100 mg/dL
  • HDL (good) cholesterol: above 40 mg/dL in men and above 50 mg/dL in women
  • Triglycerides (another type of fat in the blood): below 150 mg/dL

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