For many of us, heart disease is perhaps the number one threat in terms of healthy longevity. And the bad news is that often the first attack is fatal.
The UK National Health Service says that “Coronary heart disease is the term that describes what happens when your heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries. Over time, the walls of your arteries can become furred up with fatty deposits. This can be caused by lifestyle factors and other conditions, such as: smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes.”
Now you know well enough if you smoke or have diabetes, but cholesterol and blood pressure need to be measured to know if they’re high.
Cholesterol requires a simple blood test, and if you are at all concerned, then ask your doctor to be tested. Your cholesterol includes HDL (good), LDL (bad) and some smaller components.
For older adults, the figures that are ideal are:
Total Cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL
HDL (good) levels should be greater than 60 mg/dL
Non-HDL should be less than 140 mg/dL (includes LDL)
LDL (bad) should be less than 100 mg/dL
Another measure often taken at the same time is of Triglycerides, which should be below 150 mg/dL
Blood Pressure: You can ask the doctor to measure your blood pressure, but I bought a low-cost device to measure it myself once a month. It’s easy to use, and gives you a pulse rate as well as the high/low blood pressure readings. Most health authorities recommend now that, whatever your age, you should keep your blood pressure (high/low) below 120/80, although Dr. Greger in “How Not to Die” states that everyone should aim to get down to 110/65, through a combination of diet and exercise. I’m determined to stay below 120/80 but I’m hoping also to get down to Doctor Greger’s target.Blood Pressure Monitor HYLOGY Wrist Blood Pressure Cuff Fully Automatic
Clinically Approved: Advanced Technology, Germany imported chips make the monitor highly accurate and stable, recommended by doctors for home use.
Full-Scale Detection: Measure heartbeats, pulse, systolic and diastolic blood pressure by one measurement, include irregular heartbeats detection.
UK NHS on heart disease: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronary-heart-disease/
US Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315900.php#recommended-levels
Link to my post on “Cholesterol“