Clinical Blood Test Results

Blood Pressure

Your blood pressure, the force of which your blood flows through your arteries, is an important factor of your heart health. From your results, the top number represents your blood pressure when the heart contracts (systolic), while the bottom number represents your blood pressure when your heart is at rest between beats (diastolic). The following numbers will help you determine if you have a healthy blood pressure.

Blood Pressure
Normal 120/80
Prehypertension 120/80 - 139/89
Hypertension 1 140/90 - 159/99
Hypertension 2 Above 160/100
Source: American Heart Association

To reduce your blood pressure, reduce your diet's sodium intake and avoid saturated and trans fat. Instead of fats, eat a well-rounded diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Exercise also helps to treat and prevent high blood pressure. Other factors that may be contributing to high blood pressure include high levels of stress and anxiety, alcohol, and tobacco.

For more information on high blood pressure, visit http://www.heart.org.

Blood Cholesterol Levels

Your total cholesterol levels make up both HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterols. HDL cholesterol protects you from heart disease by removing plaque and bad cholesterol in your bloodstream. LDL cholesterol is harmful and builds up with plaque in your arteries to cause heart disease. Your total cholesterol level is your HDL plus LDL. The following numbers show desirable ranges for HDL, LDL, and total blood cholesterol according to the American Heart Association.

HDL Cholesterol Levels
  Women Men
Low < 50 mg/dL < 40 mg/dL
High > 60 mg/dL > 60 mg/dL
Source: American Heart Association
LDL Cholesterol Levels
Optimal < 100 mg/dL
Near/Above Optimal 100-129 mg/dL
Borderline High 130-159 mg/dL
High 160-189 mg/dL
Very High > 190 mg/dL
Source: American Heart Association
Total Cholesterol Levels
Desirable < 200 mg/dL
Borderline High 200-239 mg/dL
High > 240 mg/dL
Source: American Heart Association

Factors that negatively effect your cholesterol levels include inactivity, poor diet, and stress.

To learn more about cholesterol, visit http://www.heart.org.

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are the "bad fats" from foods and are harmful to the body. A high level of triglycerides, in combination with high LDL cholesterol, substantially increases the risk of heart disease. The range of triglycerides, as described by the American Heart Association, is detailed below.

Triglyceride Levels
Optimal < 100 mg/dL
Normal < 150 mg/dL
Borderline High 150-199 mg/dL
High 200-499 mg/dL
Very High > 500 mg/dL
Source: American Heart Association

You can control your triglyceride levels by maintaining a healthy weight (losing 5-10% of your body weight can greatly improve triglyceride levels), avoiding trans and saturated fats, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco.

More information about triglycerides can be found at http://www.heart.org.

Blood Glucose

Chronically high levels of blood glucose put you at risk for developing type II diabetes, which is when the body develops insulin resistance. The ranges for your fasting blood glucose levels are below.

Blood Glucose Levels
Normal 70-100 mg/dL
Prediabetes 100-125 mg/dL
Diabetes > 126 mg/dL
Source: National Library of Medicine

Following normal dietary and exercise guidelines can help to maintain healthy blood glucose ranges. To decrease unhealthy blood glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association recommends exercising more frequently and cutting down your meal portions. However, you should consult your doctor if you think you may be at risk for diabetes.

For more information on diabetes and blood glucose, visit http://www.diabetes.org and take a short Type II Diabetes Risk Test.

See also: Overall Wellness, Weight Management, Other Risk Factors