Know 4 Critical Health Numbers

By CNN News Wire

Published 07/25 2014 09:37AM

Updated 07/25 2014 09:39AM

Do you know your numbers?  No...Not your lotto picks...Your health statistics.   Doctors say the best way to work towards healthy goals is to know where you stand in the medical numbers game.  Which four are the most important? 

The world is filled with digits. Phone numbers, passwords: All are important.

But physicians say knowing your medical numbers is essential for living a healthier life.

So which numbers should you know?

Let's start with blood pressure.

"Blood pressure is 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 Internists.

Then there's your cholesterol.

Know the difference between HDL and LDL.

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

And your weight and waist size are important for knowing your body mass index.

"Patients who are overweight, are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, arthritis, acid reflux, sleep apnea, and even cancer, some estimates that between 15% to 20% cancer deaths in the U.S. are attributable to weight."

Blood sugar numbers can tell you whether you may be pre-diabetic.

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

Knowing these numbers can help you work towards a healthier lifestyle.  

(Holly Firfer for CNN's Health Minute)

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