Healthcheck: 5 numbers for good health

Watch the report from Action News' Ali Gorman, R.N.
April 16, 2014 6:34:38 PM PDT
We're always looking for ways to protect our health. There's actually a simple way to know where you are - and where your health is headed.

Between phone numbers, passwords, and PINS, it's hard to remember all the numbers in our lives.

But when it comes to your health, there are five numbers-- just five-- that you should know.

Shanna Keeler has a strong family history of heart disease. So she keeps track of her important numbers.

Every day, she takes and logs her blood pressure.

And she knows her cholesterol and Body Mass Index or B-M-I.

But a national survey shows that Shanna is in rare company.

People across the country were asked about just one number -the BMI - and if they knew what a healthy one should be.

"2 out of 3 people do not know what their body mass index means even," says Dr. Marth Gulati, a cardiologist at Ohio State Medical Center.

Dr.Gulati says that number and 4 others not only tell how healthy you are now, but they can predict heart problems in the future.

First, a healthy BMI is under 25.

You can calculate yours with a simple online tool.

Second, you should also know your waist size around your belly button.

For women, it should be less than 35 inches. For men, less than 40.

Also, know your blood pressure.

"A normal blood pressure is actually with a top number that we call systolic to be under 120. And the lower number, called diastolic, to be under 80," say Dr. Gulati.

As for the final two numbers - your blood sugar should be under 100, and cholesterol, under 200.

Shanna says knowing those 5 numbers might have saved some of her family members.

So she urges everyone to know your numbers.

"Don't wait. don't be afraid to go. because it's a simple doctor's visit," says Keeler. "It's a blood test and a blood pressure reading and it can change your life forever."


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