What do my Results Mean?

If you’ve recently attended a community health screening, you probably received your “numbers” after taking several different screenings. Here’s how to interpret some of those numbers:

What Your Body Fat Number Means
Percentage Body Fat – the approximate percentage of your body that is composed of fat.

Body Fat Recommendations - Men

Age

<29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60+

Excellent

6-11

6-12

6-14

6-15

6-16

Good

11-13

12-14

14-16

15-17

16-18

Average

14-20

15-21

17-23

18-24

19-25

Fair

21-23

22-24

24-26

25-27

26-28

Needs Improvement

23+

24+

26+

27+

28+

Body Fat Recommendations - Women

Age

<29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60+

Excellent

11-16

11-17

11-18

11-19

11-20

Good

16-19

17-20

18-21

19-22

20-23

Average

20-28

21-29

22-30

23-31

24-32

Fair

29-31

30-32

31-33

32-34

33-35

Needs Improvement

31+

32+

33+

34+

35+

Fat Weight – the actual number of fat pounds based on your percentage of fat and total body weight.

Lean Weight – fat-free weight (the combined weight of your muscles, bones and other body fluids and parts)

Total Body Water – a calculation based on your fat weight and lean weight. Studies show that fat tissue contains about 4 to 8 percent water and lean tissue contains about 73 percent water.

What Your Body Mass Index Number Means
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a mathematical calculation used for estimating body structure. Elevated BMIs have been associated with increased rates for health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

For more information about BMI, including BMI myths and a BMI calculator, please visit the Centers for Disease Control.

Already know your BMI?

BMI Value

Weight Status

<18.5

Underweight

18.5-24.9

Normal

25-29.9

Overweight

30+

Obese


Fat Facts
Everybody needs body fat in order to survive. Fat insulates and protects our organs such as the heart, liver and spleen; helps our bodies use important vitamins; and is necessary for other important bodily functions.

The Lean Truth
  • Scale weight can be deceptive. Because muscle tissue contains so much water, it is actually heavier than fat. A person with more muscle will have a higher scale weight, but may have a low percentage of body fat.
  • Muscle burns more energy, or calories, than fat. Those with more muscle generally have a higher metabolism and can consume more calories. They burn more calories every day – even when sleeping.
  • Thinness does not necessarily guarantee leanness. Many thin people have very little muscle because they do not exercise. These people often have surprisingly high body fat results.
Improving Your Composition
  • Not only does a lean and trim body feel and look good, it is much healthier. People with high amounts of body fat are at a greater risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, muscle and joint problems.
  • By increasing your lean weight and decreasing your fat weight, your body composition and body fat percentage will improve. Cutting calories may help reduce fat weight, but without exercise does nothing to improve the amount of lean weight.
  • A combination of regular exercise to increase lean weight and a low-fat diet to decrease fat weight will provide the best results.

PEOPLE ARE LEARNING MORE about the connection between high levels of cholesterol and coronary heart disease (CHD), which causes about 385,000 deaths yearly in the U.S. As health conscious individuals we should all be concerned about cholesterol levels. To avoid confusion, cholesterol and other “lipids” or fatty substances include:

◆ Total Cholesterol ◆ HDL Cholesterol ◆ LDL Cholesterol ◆ Triglyceride

Here is a simple guide to understanding what your numbers mean and what can be done to improve serum lipid patterns. This is a positive step toward reducing the risk of heart disease.

1. Look at the tests that can affect the risk. Their levels are expressed as milligrams of lipid per deciliter of blood (mg/dL).

◆ Total Cholesterol:
Everyone should know their total cholesterol because it provides a rough estimate of the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol is transported through the blood stream in the form of lipoprotein, which is a lipid plus protein carrier.
The main components of your Total Cholesterol level include the amount of cholesterol carried by HDL (high-density protein) and LDL (low-density protein). The total cholesterol measurement, however, does not give a specific value for each lipoprotein. The total cholesterol test can be used for two purposes: to screen for heart disease risk or to monitor lipid-lowering therapy.

THE TOTAL CHOLESTEROL LEVEL SHOULD BE less than 200

◆ HDL Cholesterol:

HDL-C is often called the “good” cholesterol because higher HDL levels are generally associated with a lower incidence of heart disease. HDL-C is believed to take excess cholesterol away from coronary arteries and prevent them from becoming clogged. The more HDL cholesterol a person has, the better.

THE HDL CHOLESTEROL LEVEL SHOULD BE 60 or above


◆ LDL Cholesterol:

LDL-C is known as the “bad” cholesterol because too much of it will clog the arteries in the heart. Clogged coronary arteries cause heart attacks.

THE LDL CHOLESTEROL LEVEL SHOULD BE UNDER 100


◆ Triglyceride:
Triglyceride is a lipid that helps store fat in the body. High triglyceride levels can cause inflammation of the pancreas and elevated levels of triglyceride may play a role in heart disease.


THE TRIGLYCERIDE LEVEL SHOULD BE less than 150


2. Lipid tests should be reviewed by a physician.

Assessing the risk of heart attack should be done with a doctor’s guidance. Working together, a personal plan of action can be developed.

3. Changes that can help reduce the risk of heart disease:

◆ Stop smoking. Smoking lowers HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. Smoking in itself is a major risk factor for heart disease.

◆ Change eating habits. Low fat, low-cholesterol eating lowers all your lipid levels.

◆ Lose weight. A healthy, low fat diet reduces weight and helps lipids, too.

◆ Start exercising. An active lifestyle helps to lower total lipid count. Staying trim and fit gives you energy, too!

◆ Monitor cholesterol levels. Using a lipid profile, doctors can carefully observe serum lipid levels.

What Your Blood Pressure Numbers Mean
Blood pressure is the force of your blood against the walls of your arteries. It is normal for your blood pressure to fluctuate (it's high when you first wake up or when you're nervous or excited, and low when you're resting or sleeping).

The problem is, there are no symptoms of high blood pressure. That's why it is important for you to know your blood pressure.

A normal reading consists of two figures: the top is your systolic pressure (pressure in the vessels during a heartbeat) and the bottom is your diastolic pressure (pressure at the heart rests between beats). Your blood pressure changes from minute to minute, with changes in posture, exercise or activity, but it should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg for an adult, assuming you don't smoke and aren't overweight.

The American Heart Association recommends the following blood pressure levels, but only your doctor can tell what is normal for you.

Blood Pressure Category

Systolic

Diastolic

Normal

< 120

< 80

Prehypertension

120-139

80-89

High

Stage 1

140-159

90-99

Stage 2

160+

100+

How can you lower your blood pressure?

  • If you are overweight, try to reduce your weight. High blood pressure is twice as common in heavy people.
  • Switch to a low-fat diet to lower the cholesterol build up in your arteries.
  • Add more calcium to your diet.
  • Throw out your salt shaker and avoid foods that taste salty. Most canned foods are loaded with salt.
  • Add a regular program of aerobic exercise to your daily life.

What Your Blood Glucose Levels Mean

The blood glucose test is ordered to measure the amount of glucose in the blood right at the time of sample collection. It is used to detect both high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), to help diagnose diabetes, and to monitor glucose levels in persons with diabetes.
Fasting Glucose Levels should be below 100


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The Atlantic General Hospital web site, www.atlanticgeneral.org, is under development and changes may be made at any time. There is no guarantee that the information contained on the web sie is identical to information presented elsewhere, and Atlantic General Hospital has no duty to update the information contained on the online version to correct errors or otherwise.

This information was obtained from CDC Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention publication, 2013.
http://www.cdc.gov

To better understand your laboratory results, visit:
http://labtestsonline.org/
Source of information by American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)