In Your 40s

When you hit 40, your doctor should start monitoring the overall degree of inflammation within your body with C-reactive protein (CRP) testing. The higher your CRP level, the higher your risk of cardiovascular disease. But there’s no need to make an extra appointment for this one—the same simple blood test that checks your cholesterol levels measures CRP levels. The best way to keep CRP levels in check? Regular exercise and being at the right body weight.

“People need to be aware of the connection between chronic health problems and heart disease,” says Dr. Fergus. “Making sure that you get tested and stay healthy some of the best ways to overcome this, especially as you approach the ages where many more health problems start occurring.”

Your 40s Checklist:

•    30 minutes of exercise five times a week

•    Annual physicals

•    Echocardiogram, 10 years after your last one

•    EKG, 5 years after your last one

•    Cholesterol: LDL less than 130 mg/dL and HDL greater than 40 mg/dL

•    Blood pressure: 119/79 mm HG or lower

•    Lipid profile: Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dL

•    C-reactive protein: Less than 1 mg per liter

READ: Cardiac Arrest Vs. Heart Attack: What’s The Difference?

Michael Clarke Duncan: What Every Black Man Can Do For His Heart  was originally published on

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