Women's Heart Health

Know Your Numbers

Being heart healthy means knowing and treating the following key numbers.


Blood Pressure 

High blood pressure often has no symptoms, but increases the heart’s workload and raises the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke, or kidney problems.

Blood Pressure Goal is 120/80 or Less

  • Less than 120 systolic and less than 80 diastolic is normal
  • 120-139 systolic and 80-89 diastolic is considered prehypertension
  • Blood pressure readings of 140 and higher are serious and require medical evaluation and treatment

Blood Glucose

Blood glucose, also commonly referred to blood sugar, is used to evaluate the presence of diabetes. Women with diabetes are at higher risk of heart disease.

Blood Glucose (mg/dl) -Fasting

  • Below 100 is normal
  • 100-125 is considered pre-diabetes
  • 126 or higher requires additional testing and treatment

Blood Cholesterol

Blood Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced in the body; but foods high in saturated fats can produce an excess amount, increasing your risk of heart disease. Total cholesterol is the sum of all types of cholesterol in your blood. A goal of less than 200 is desirable for total cholesterol, but the HDL and LDL levels are also important in equation. Does treatment require medications and other behavior changes?

Total Cholesterol Less Than 200 mg/dl

  • Low- density lipoprotein or LDL (“bad”) less than 100 mg/dl
  • High- density lipoprotein or HDL (“good”) more than 60 mg/dl
  • Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dl

Coronary Artery Calcium Score

The coronary artery calcium score tells you if you have coronary artery disease and your risk of heart attack or death from heart disease. It is appropriate for adults without heart disease or symptoms, such as chest pain. To learn more about this pain-free non-invasive procedure, download the Calcium Scoring PDF file.

Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a mathematical formula of weight and height. The formula is weight in pounds multiplied by 703, divided by height in inches, divided by height in inches.

Body Mass Index Calculation

  • 703 x weight / height  / height
  • For example, 703 x 165 lbs = 115995 / 66” = 1757.5 / 66” = 26.62 (overweight)

The BMI goal is less than 25.

A BMI of more than 25 is overweight and a BMI of greater than 30 is considered obese.

More information on BMI

Along with the BMI, the waist circumference measurement is important since abdominal fat (“spare tire”) increases the risk of heart disease in women and men.

Waist measurements should not exceed 35”.

 Numbers to KnowGoal
Body Mass IndexLess than 25
Waist CircumferenceLess than 35
Cholesterol: 
LDLLess than 100
HDLMore than 60
Total cholesterolLess than 200
TriglyceridesLess than 150
Blood PressureLess than 120/80
Blood SugarLess than 100

Web Resources

Quick Reference

Women's Heart Health

Phone 336-713-4427

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Last Updated: 04-10-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.