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Screening your Cholesterol and BP

Diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks are three serious health problems that doctors say can be prevented if patients pay attention to their cholesterol and blood pressure.

Dr. Richard Daum, a cardiologist with Lee Health, says it’s never too late to start monitoring your numbers. “We know that a fatty streak is forming on the inside of the artery in the teens. And by the 20s people have coronary plaques, and for a man by age 50, 80 percent have significant plaques.”

Heart attacks and strokes can happen unpredictably even with a low grade plaque, which is why, in addition to monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol, doctors also recommend monitoring your weight, salt intake, and high fat foods. “For every point you drop in blood pressure it lowers your risk of a heart attack or stroke considerably,” said Dr. Daum.

Doctors also recommend keeping your LDL, or bad cholesterol, under 70. “We’ve also learned that for every point we drop the LDL, the chance for a heart attack is lowered by about 2.3 percent,” said Dr. Daum.

He recommends patients with high blood pressure monitor it by checking it once in the morning and once at night before bed. “We try to lower blood pressure gradually over a period of time,” said Dr. Daum.

Adding daily exercise and eliminating unhealthy foods will also help patients keep a healthy cholesterol and blood pressure.

View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/

Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

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