Health / Health conditions

Know Your Numbers

Doctor and patient

During a checkup, your doctor takes a close look at the “numbers” that offer a picture of your health. Find out why they’re important, and talk with your doctor about what your numbers are.

Body mass index (BMI)

18.5 to 24.9

Why it matters
Your BMI is based on your height and weight. A higher BMI increases your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Calculate your BMI.

Blood pressure

Less than 120 mmHg and less than 80 mmHg

Elevated: 120-129 mmHg and less than 80 mmHg
High: 130 mmHg or higher or 80 mmHg or higher

Why it matters
​​​​​​Blood pressure is the force of blood moving around your body. High blood pressure means that your heart and blood vessels are working harder, which can lead to heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.


Total less than 200 mg/dL

Why it matters
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance. When you have too much in your blood, it can build up and lead to heart disease and stroke.

Blood sugar (blood glucose)

Less than 100mg/dL*

Why it matters
Having too much sugar in your blood may be a sign of diabetes, kidney disease, or pancreas issues. If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor about how often to have your blood sugar tested.

How to improve your numbers

  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Be active for 30 minutes most days of the week.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Lower the amount of salt and sugar in your diet.

*This is for a fasting test, when you don’t eat for 9-12 hours beforehand.