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Judy finally found relief for her chronic heartburn.

Get to Know Your Numbers

To register for the screening or the presentation, call 847.618.4YOU or click here.

Know Your Numbers

Simple tests offer a snapshot of your heart's health

Numbers don't lie. In fact, your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose numbers often tell you what your body isn't telling you.

"In many cases of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, you may not have symptoms at all until a serious heart attack, stroke or kidney failure," says Stephen M. Zaacks, MD, cardiologist at Northwest Community Healthcare.

It's time to know your numbers.

Blood Pressure

Ideal range: Less than 130/80

What it means: The top number is the peak pressure in the arteries when your heart beats. The bottom number is the lowest pressure in your arteries between heartbeats. "The top number is more important in terms of heart risk," says Dr. Zaacks. If that number exceeds 140, you have hypertension, which can damage the heart and coronary arteries.

How often to have it checked: At least every two years beginning at age 20.

Cholesterol

Ideal range: 200 mg/dL total cholesterol or lower; 100 mg/dL LDL cholesterol or lower; 50mg/DL (women) 40 mg/DL (men) HDL cholesterol or higher.

What they mean: "Total cholesterol refers to all the ways that cholesterol appears in the body," Dr. Zaacks says, noting that the measurement is simply the cholesterol in milligrams per deciliter of blood. LDL is known as "bad" cholesterol while HDL is "good."

How often to have it checked: Every five years for adults 20 and older.

Blood Glucose

Ideal range: Less than 100mg/DL

What it means: Again, mg/DL measures glucose in milligrams per deciliter of blood. 100mg/DL is a fasting glucose target, meaning you don't eat for at least eight hours before testing.

How often to have it checked: Every three years beginning at age 45.

Act Today

NCH is offering $20 Heart Health Screenings (blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose) Feb. 16, 6:30 to 9:30 am at the Schaumburg Immediate Care Center.

"Knowing your numbers really allows you to take your health into your own hands," says Dr. Zaacks, who invites you to put your numbers into perspective at his one-hour heart health presentation at 9 am Feb. 23 at the NCH Auditorium.

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Last Updated 04/10/2009