Do Your Patients Know Their Heart Health Numbers? Less Than 20 Percent Do

Fewer than one in five U.S. adults know their cholesterol or blood sugar levels, according to survey results released Feb. 7 by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Laxmi Mehta, M.D., director of Preventative Cardiology and Women’s Cardiovascular Health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, and colleagues surveyed more than 1,000 adults nationwide to assess if they knew their blood pressure, ideal weight, cholesterol numbers, or blood sugar level.

The survey found that 44 percent of participants knew their ideal weight, while only 15 percent knew their blood sugar level. For comparison’s sake, two-thirds knew their childhood address (68 percent) and 58 percent knew their best friend’s birthday. While most adults did not know their health numbers, the majority said they had had their blood pressure and heart rate checked within the last year and blood sugar and cholesterol tests within five years.

“Recognizing heart disease risk factors early and adequately treating them can potentially prevent heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure,” Mehta said in a statement. “As a society, we need to shift from sick care to preventative care so people can live their best and fullest lives possible.”

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