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3 Health Numbers Everyone Should Know

February 23, 2024

When it comes to understanding your health, there’s a lot of information to process. But figuring out what truly matters can be a challenge.

So, we asked Michael O’Neill, MD, a primary care provider with Hartford HealthCare Medical Group, to share three essential health numbers that everyone should know.

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1. Your A1C

A1C – which measures your average glucose (blood sugar level) over three to four months – provides vital insight into your risk for diabetes.

“A normal, healthy A1C number is less than 5.7,” explains Dr. O’Neill, “If your A1C goes above 6.5, it may indicate diabetes.”

Falling somewhere between 5.7 and 6.5 signals pre-diabetes, offering a perfect opportunity to take charge of your health.

“Incorporating lifestyle changes, such as exercise, weight loss and a healthy diet, will help prevent progression,” says Dr. O’Neill.

> Related: What You Need to Know About HDL and LDL Cholesterol Levels

2. Your LDL

LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is often called “bad cholesterol” and is a crucial factor in assessing your cardiovascular health. Dr. O’Neill emphasizes the importance of keeping your LDL under 100.

If yours is higher than 100, Dr. O’Neill recommends focusing on improving your diet, exercising regularly, weight loss and reducing your risk factors to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.

3. Your blood pressure

Your blood pressure is another key metric to monitor. An ideal number is 120/70, a sign that you’re in good health.

If you notice your blood pressure starting to rise (130/80, 140/90), Dr. O’Neill suggests discussing strategies with your doctor. A proactive approach can help you lower your blood pressure and maintain a healthy level.

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The power of consistency

Diet, exercise and weight loss – what do all three things have in common?

With persistence, each holds the power to change your health numbers. Dr. O’Neill assures that consistently following a healthy lifestyle can lead to significant progress in managing A1C, LDL and blood pressure.

If you have questions or want personalized guidance on managing your health numbers, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider.

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