Medical numbers to know for a healthy lifestyle - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Medical numbers to know for a healthy lifestyle

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Phone numbers and passwords are not the only digits worth memorizing. Physicians say that knowing your medical numbers is essential for living a healthier life.

So which numbers should you know?

First, there is your cholesterol number.

"Blood pressure's important because it's a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, and those are some of the leading causes of death in the U.S," says Dr. John Dooley of Foxhall Interists.

Dr. Dooley also advises to know your cholesterol number, and the difference between HDL and LDL cholesterol.

"Higher levels of the LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, are associated with an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis disease, meaning heart attacks and strokes," he says. "Whereas higher numbers of the HDL, or good cholesterol are associated with a lower risk."

Your weight and waist size are important for knowing your Body Mass Index.

"Patients who are overweight, however that's measured, are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, arthritis, sleep apnea, acid reflux, and even cancers," says Dr. Dooley. "There are some estimates that between 15% and 20% of cancer deaths in the U.S. are attributable to obesity."

Finally, your blood sugar numbers can tell you if you may be pre-diabetic.

"Diabetes is a major risk factor also for the development of heart disease, and other forms of vascular diseases and kidney disease," Dr. Dooley says.

Knowing your medical numbers, and what your healthy margins are, can help guide you in pursuing a healthy lifestyle. 

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