|May is Stroke Awareness Month|
Stroke threatens us all, but it’s often preventable. You have the power to end stroke. Avoid smoking, limit alcohol and work with your doctor toward these goals for a healthy life:
• Total cholesterol: <200
• LDL cholesterol: goals vary depending on risk:
- No heart disease, 0-1 risk factors: <160
- Most people with 2+ risk factors: <130
- Heart disease or diabetes: <70-100
• HDL cholesterol: 50+ women; 40+ men
• Triglycerides: <150
• Blood pressure: <120/80
• Fasting glucose: <100
• Body Mass Index (BMI): <25
• Waist size: <35” women; <40” men
• Exercise: 30+ minutes most or all days.
• Balanced diet: Fruit, vegetables, grains,
low-fat/nonfat dairy products, fish, legumes, poultry, lean meat.
• Regular doctor visits.
If a healthy diet and regular exercise aren’t enough to reduce your risk, ask your doctor about adding medication(s).
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:
WALK (is their balance off?)
TALK (is their speech slurred or face droopy?)
REACH (is one side weak or numb?)
SEE (is their vision all or partly lost?)
FEEL (is their headache severe?)
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Treat it early. Treat it aggressively. Millions who think they’re healthy are actually prehypertensive and should take steps to prevent full-blown high blood pressure. Most of us will have high blood pressure if we live long enough. Heart disease risk begins rising once pressure creeps above 115/75. Risk doubles for each 20-point rise in top number or 10-point rise in bottom number. Wiser lifestyle choices can stave off the blood-pressure creep that comes with age.
Normal: below 120/80
Prehypertensive: up to 139/89
High: 140/90 or higher
The latest guidelines call for tighter control at all levels:
1. Control blood pressure before it’s high. Lose weight if necessary. Get regular exercise. Limit salt and alcohol intake.
2. People over age 50...with a top number of 140 or more should be treated regardless of their bottom number.
3. Two (or more) drugs are better...for most people with 140/90 pressure or higher. For most, one drug should be a diuretic.
4. Doctors should treat more aggressively.
1/3 of people with hypertension don’t know it;
2/3 of those diagnosed don’t have it controlled.
Call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit americanheart.org/hbp to learn more.
This message is brought to you by North Dakota Public Employee Retirement System.
-- Amanda Eickhoff, Assistant Director for Work Well, Wellness Center, email@example.com, 701.777.0210