Know your ABCs about diabetes and heart health
With diabetes comes increased risk for heart disease. Manage your diabetes and understand the link with keeping blood pressure and cholesterol within normal ranges. Know these numbers:
- A1C. This is a blood test that measures average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months. Strive to keep it less than 7%. Ask your doctor to check this level at least twice a year.
- Blood pressure. Do a simple check at home with a home blood pressure monitor or at drug stores and fire stations, not just in your doctor’s office. Check your blood pressure at every doctor’s visit and more often if you can. Keep readings below 130/80.
- Cholesterol. Target your LDL cholesterol levels. This is measured by a simple blood test at the doctor’s office or at a health fair. Strive for an LDL below 100, and check it at least once a year.
If levels of any of the ABCs are higher than they should be, talk with your doctor. Diet and exercise help keep your numbers – and your diabetes and risk for heart disease – in check.