Learn How Your Critical Numbers Add Up To Better Health
Through blood tests, blood pressure monitors, and scales, your doctor can provide you with all your critical health numbers. Some of these measurements are the only way of knowing if you are at risk for particular diseases or health complications. By keeping track of your numbers on your own, you will be able to better manage your health.
It is recommended that individuals keep track of these critical health numbers within the following ranges*:
|Critical Health Marker||Recommended Range||More Information|
The amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood
|Prediabetes: HbA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) less than 6%; Diabetes: HbA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) less than 7%||Blood sugar is also measured by the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in your blood. An HbA1c test gives you a picture of your average blood sugar control for the past 2 to 3 months and provides you with a better idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.|
The force of blood against the arteries when the heart beats and rests
|Less than 130/80 mm Hg||Blood pressure is typically measured by a device that uses the height of a column of mercury (Hg) to reflect the circulating systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic pressure (top number) is the peak pressure in the arteries, and diastolic pressure (bottom number) is the lowest pressure.|
A waxy substance produced by the liver
|A total cholesterol score of less than 180 mg/dL is considered optimal.||Because cholesterol is unable to dissolve in the blood, it has to be transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein (or LDL) cholesterol, is known as “bad” cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein (or HDL) cholesterol, is known as “good” cholesterol.|
|Body weight||A body mass index (BMI) of 18.6-24.9; waistline smaller than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men||A person’s ideal body weight varies by gender, age, height, and frame. Your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference provide good indicators of whether you are at a healthy weight. Use our BMI calculator tool.|
* Information as found on the American Heart Association’s website, www.heart.org.
If you choose just one thing to improve your health and wellbeing this month, consider getting all of your critical health numbers from your doctor as part of your annual physical. If your critical numbers are not at the target level, work with your doctor to develop a plan to reach these goals.
Once you have your numbers, for United Healthcare plan members, it’s time to Rally! Rally is the starting line for improving your health through a fun, user-friendly digital experience from United Healthcare. Create an account and determine your Rally Health Age, the measure of how your body feels compared to your real age. Then, pick and track your “Missions”— personalized health challenges—online or with a wearable device. Once you’re part of the Rally Community, the system provides you with tools and trackers, to-do lists, healthy recipe sharing, and motivational updates. Learn more at www.myuhc.com.