Credit: Original article published by Barrett-Jackson.

We all know how much horsepower our beloved collector vehicle has, what the tire pressure is, and how many smiles per mile we get, but what about your heart health numbers like blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose or BMI?

Knowing your numbers is essential to leading a healthy life, as these numbers can indicate severe underlying health issues, even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms.

These are the key screening tests for monitoring cardiovascular health:

Maintaining healthy blood pressure is essential, because the higher your blood pressure is, the higher your chances of health issues. Left undetected or uncontrolled, high blood pressure can lead to stroke, vision loss, heart failure and heart attack, among other severe life-changing and life-threatening conditions. The best way to know if you have high blood pressure? Know your numbers and have your blood pressure checked regularly.

High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke. That’s why the AHA says it’s essential to have your cholesterol tested so that you can know your numbers.

High blood glucose, or blood sugar, can also increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other serious health complications like diabetes. The AHA says nearly 33 million American adults have Type 2 diabetes and many don’t know it. If it is left untreated, diabetes can cause many health complications. That’s why it’s crucial to know your numbers and to see a healthcare professional regularly for screenings.

Lastly, Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a measurement that may tell you and your doctor whether you’re at a healthy body weight and composition. Per the AHA, being obese puts you at higher risk for developing heart disease, stroke, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure and more.

Knowing your numbers is essential to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. The only way to know them is to be tested. Having less-than-ideal test results doesn’t mean you’re destined to develop severe cardiovascular disease, however. According to the AHA, it means you’re in a position to begin positively changing your health.

We encourage you to schedule “routine maintenance” for your cardiovascular system – just as you would your collector vehicle – and help slam the brakes on heart disease and stroke.