Question: What are considered normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels for individuals 65 years and over? I am getting different answers from different doctors.
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
A healthy total cholesterol is under 200. Remember that this is only a screening value, and it is best to look at the components of LDL, HDL and trigylcerides to establish your total cholesterol risk.
Your LDL (bad cholesterol) should be as low as possible, and ideally under 100. If you are diabetic or have heart disease or stroke issues, your LDL needs to be at 80 or less. LDL readings of under 100 are very hard to achieve without the help of medications such as statins. Your HDL (good cholesterol) needs to be as high as possible, as this mops up the LDL fragments and helps keep your blood vessels free of accumulated plaque. A good HDL is over 60. Your triglycerides (suspended fats) should be less than 150, and should be measured after a 12-hour fast as meals will elevate this level.
A healthy blood pressure level is 120/80. But at your age the first figure — the systolic (peak or maximum blood vessel) pressure — may be as high as 140. The second figure — the diastolic (resting blood vessel) pressure — may be as highs 85 without adverse consequences. We generally want systolic blood pressure to be over 110 to avoid low blood pressure problems, such as fainting and dizziness, resulting from overaggressive medication use.
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