Women's Heart Advisor January 2008 Issue

Ask The Doctor

The American Heart Association advises having a first cholesterol check at age 20 and, if you have no risk factors, every five years after that; if you have risk factors, then get checked yearly. You should have blood pressure and fasting glucose tests (for diabetes) yearly. Ideal body weight is judged by body mass index (BMI). To calculate your BMI, multiply your weight in pounds by 703, divide this number by your height in inches, then divide this number by your height in inches again. A woman with a BMI over 25 is considered overweight. However, it may be more important to have a waist circumference less than 35 inches, since waist size has been directly linked to heart attack risk.

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