Harvard Heart Letter

A numbers game worth playing

Knowing the numbers for a few key risk factors is good for your heart and overall health.

Between PINs for automated teller machines, Web site passwords, and programmable car locks, you probably don't need any more numbers to remember. Every so often, though, it makes sense to tally up a few that can help you track, and even improve, your health.

Articles about heart health often talk about these key numbers, but usually not all at the same time. So we thought it might be useful to highlight 12 numbers worth knowing for your heart's health and give you a chance to see how they stack up against recommended levels. Some of these, like cholesterol and blood pressure, won't come as a surprise. Others, like your waist size and blood sugar, might.

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