5 Heart Numbers You Need to Know

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Knowing just a few health numbers can go a long way in maintaining a healthy heart. These five heart numbers will paint an accurate picture of your cardiac fitness and perhaps motivate you to begin a health journey now because it is never too late.


Physical activity is important and even working from home all day is no excuse not to move. One rule of thumb outlined by various health organizations is exercising for 150 minutes each week, or you could walk five miles or 10,000 steps (8km) a day. The trick is to start with 3 km a day and gradually increase.


Blood pressure, measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), represents the force exerted by blood against the walls of arteries as the heart pumps it around the body. It is typically expressed as two numbers: systolic pressure (the top number) and diastolic pressure (the bottom number).

Find out more about High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) here.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is symptomless and is detected by measurement. A BP of  120/80 is optimal, and 140/90 is normal for most people. Higher BP means your arteries aren’t responding to the force of blood pushing against artery walls increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.


Cholesterol is a fatty substance essential for building cell membranes and producing hormones. However, high levels of cholesterol in the blood, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, can accumulate in the arteries, forming plaque and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Desirable cholesterol levels include LDL cholesterol below 100 mg/dL, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol above 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women, and total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL. Monitoring cholesterol levels through regular blood tests and adopting a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle are essential for managing cholesterol levels and reducing cardiovascular risk.

NON-HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) includes LDL and bad cholesterol which is the amount of fat in your blood that can clog your arteries. LDL cholesterol should be less than 100.

Check Out This Article to Know More on Cholesterol.


Blood sugar levels, specifically fasting blood glucose levels, measure the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood after fasting for at least eight hours. Elevated blood glucose levels, indicative of prediabetes or diabetes, can damage blood vessels and nerves, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other complications. A fasting blood glucose level below 100 mg/dL is considered normal, while levels between 100 and 125 mg/dL indicate prediabetes, and levels of 126 mg/dL or higher suggest diabetes. Monitoring blood sugar levels through regular testing and adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise, are essential for managing blood sugar and reducing cardiovascular risk.

High blood sugar increases the risk of diabetes, which damages arteries. In fact, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are among the most harmful risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Check out the channel on diabetes health.


Body Mass Index (BMI) is a numerical value calculated from a person’s weight and height. It provides an estimate of body fat and helps classify individuals into categories such as underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal, while a BMI of 25 or higher indicates overweight, and a BMI of 30 or higher signifies obesity. Excess weight, particularly around the abdomen, increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Maintaining a healthy weight through balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and lifestyle modifications is essential for cardiovascular health.


There is no one “right” answer for all, but quality sleep reduces the risk of heart disease. People usually need 7-8 hours a night.

Find Out All About the Science of Sleep


Heart rate, measured in beats per minute (bpm), represents the number of times the heart contracts and pumps blood in one minute. Resting heart rate, taken when the body is at rest, is a crucial indicator of cardiovascular fitness and overall health. A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 bpm, although well-trained athletes may have lower resting heart rates due to their superior cardiovascular conditioning. Monitoring changes in heart rate, especially during physical activity and periods of stress, can help identify abnormalities and potential heart issues.


Heart rate variability is the variation in the time intervals between your heartbeats. These intervals fluctuate slightly and are extremely small to detect by regular monitoring devices. These variations are regulated by the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which controls involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, and respiratory rate. Your ANS, which includes your brain and nervous system, supports your heart, where your senses relay information to your brain about everything happening around you. The brain, with a hotline to your heart, signals it when to work slow or faster.

Know more about Heart Rate Variability Here


C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammation in the body, with elevated levels indicating increased inflammation and potential cardiovascular risk. High-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) tests measure low levels of CRP in the blood and can help assess the risk of developing heart disease. A hs-CRP level below 1.0 mg/L is considered low risk, while levels between 1.0 and 3.0 mg/L indicate moderate risk, and levels above 3.0 mg/L suggest high risk. Monitoring CRP levels, along with other cardiovascular risk factors, can help identify individuals at heightened risk of heart disease and guide preventive strategies, such as lifestyle modifications and medication interventions.


Troponin, a protein complex found in cardiac muscle cells, serves as a critical biomarker of cardiac health. Released into the bloodstream following damage to heart muscle, elevated troponin levels indicate myocardial injury, such as in myocardial infarction (heart attack). Highly sensitive troponin assays enable early detection of cardiac injury, allowing prompt intervention to mitigate further damage and improve patient outcomes. As a sensitive and specific marker of myocardial damage, troponin plays a pivotal role in diagnosing acute coronary syndromes and guiding treatment strategies in cardiac care, underscoring its importance as an indispensable tool in assessing cardiac health.

Awareness of these ten heart numbers is crucial for maintaining optimal cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications. Regular monitoring of these heart numbers, along with adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle and seeking appropriate medical guidance, can empower individuals to take control of their heart health and lead longer, healthier lives.