High Numbers to Beat: Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

Let’s be wary of the blood pressure or cholesterol level numbers. When high, either of the two can raise the chance of getting heart disease or stroke. Having both of them high raises that chance more!1 That’s why it is important to keep these numbers in check.

High blood pressure2

A healthcare professional can help check your blood pressure, although some people check their own with a home unit of the blood pressure monitor. Blood pressure (BP) readings have two numbers (see table below) and a healthy reading is under 120/80 mm Hg. Watch out for high BP, and “prehypertension” is not really high BP but still higher than the desirable healthy or normal BP.

The good cholesterol, the bad cholesterol, and the triglycerides3

Your “lipoprotein profile”, which is a blood test, will give information on your bad (LDL) and good (HDL) cholesterol. Bad cholesterol can accumulate and block the arteries while good cholesterol helps keep the arteries from being blocked. Below are some numbers to watch and maintain, so they don't go high.

For HDL, a higher number (above 40 mg/dL) is better and 60 mg/dL is protective against heart disease. Triglycerides are another type of fat that at high (above 200 mg/dL) level also raises your chance of getting heart disease.

Taking charge1

What you do daily can affect your health. So, healthy living is the basis of expert’s tips like taking a healthy diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetable, low in fat and salt; regular physical activity and not smoking. Your lifestyle can keep you healthy or can contribute to your ill health. The choice is yours, but a healthy lifestyle is most definitely recommended.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vital signs: high blood pressure and cholesterol out of control. Published February 2011. Downloaded from http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/pdf/2011-02-vitalsigns.pdf. Accessed 21 April 2015.
  2. American Heart Association, Inc. and American Stroke Association Understanding and Managing High Blood Pressure. Check. Change. Control. Published 2014. Downloaded from http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_461840.pdf. Accessed 21 April 2015.
  3. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. High Blood Cholesterol: What you need to know. NIH Publication No. 05-3290. Revised June 2005. Downloaded from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/wyntk.pdf. Accessed 21 April 2015.