• English

    Google Translate Disclaimer

    The Maryland Department of Information Technology (“DoIT”) offers translations of the content through Google Translate. Because Google Translate is an external website, DoIT does not control the quality or accuracy of translated content. All DoIT content is filtered through Google Translate which may result in unexpected and unpredictable degradation of portions of text, images and the general appearance on translated pages. Google Translate may maintain unique privacy and use policies. These policies are not controlled by DoIT and are not associated with DoIT’s privacy and use policies. After selecting a translation option, users will be notified that they are leaving DoIT’s website. Users should consult the original English content on DoIT’s website if there are any questions about the translated content.

    DoIT uses Google Translate to provide language translations of its content. Google Translate is a free, automated service that relies on data and technology to provide its translations. The Google Translate feature is provided for informational purposes only. Translations cannot be guaranteed as exact or without the inclusion of incorrect or inappropriate language. Google Translate is a third-party service and site users will be leaving DoIT to utilize translated content. As such, DoIT does not guarantee and does not accept responsibility for, the accuracy, reliability, or performance of this service nor the limitations provided by this service, such as the inability to translate specific files like PDFs and graphics (e.g. .jpgs, .gifs, etc.).

    DoIT provides Google Translate as an online tool for its users, but DoIT does not directly endorse the website or imply that it is the only solution available to users. All site visitors may choose to use alternate tools for their translation needs. Any individuals or parties that use DoIT content in translated form, whether by Google Translate or by any other translation services, do so at their own risk. DoIT is not liable for any loss or damages arising out of, or issues related to, the use of or reliance on translated content. DoIT assumes no liability for any site visitor’s activities in connection with use of the Google Translate functionality or content.

    The Google Translate service is a means by which DoIT offers translations of content and is meant solely for the convenience of non-English speaking users of the website. The translated content is provided directly and dynamically by Google; DoIT has no direct control over the translated content as it appears using this tool. Therefore, in all contexts, the English content, as directly provided by DoIT is to be held authoritative.

    Prevent Heart Disease

    ​​Living a healthy lifestyle can help keep blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight, and blood sugar levels normal and lower risk for heart disease. The first step toward preventing heart disease is to understand the possible risk factors and work with a doctor to control risk factors.

    Risk Factors for Heart Disease ​

    Risk factors are conditions or behaviors that increase the chance of developing a disease. For heart disease, there are two types of risk factors – those cannot be controlled and those that can.  Luckily, individuals do have control over most of the risk factors for heart disease.

    Rsk Factors That Can Not Be Controlled:

    • Age – Heart disease risk increases with age. Up to age 64, men are more likely to get high blood pressure than women are. At 65 and older, women are more likely to get high blood pressure.

    • Family History – Having an immediate family member with heart disease increases one’s risk.  ​

    • ​​Race - African-Americans are more likely to develop high blood pressure than other racial backgrounds in the United States.  

    Risk Factors That Can Be Controlled:

    • Smoking – Cigarette smoking increases the risk of heart disease.  Tobacco can cause hardening of the arteries.  Cigarettes also raise blood pressure and reduce the amount of oxygen the blood carries.

    • ​High Blood Pressure – Blood Pressure is the pressure exerted on the arteries when the heart pumps.  There are no symptoms of high blood pressure, and most people do not know that they have it.

    • High Cholesterol – Cholesterol is a fatty substance that builds up in the arteries.  The body does require some fats and cholesterol in moderation, but having too much raises the risk of heart disease.

    • Obesity – Obesity is excess body fat. It has been linked to heart disease and its other risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

    • Nutrition – A high fat diet has been linked to heart disease risk.

    • Physical Inactivity – Not being physically active can raise the risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.  

    • Diabetes – People with diabetes have a much higher risk for heart disease. 


    Know the numbers

    It is important for individuals to know what their blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI) are. People who have diabetes, or are at high risk, should also know their blood sugar (glucose). A doctor can advise on how often to have each of these tests done, based on an individual’s personal risk.

    Blood Pressure (Hypertension)​

    High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when the pressure level stays high for a long period of time without falling to a normal level. This can lead to serious health conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Managing blood pressure is key to a healthy start.


    Blood Pressure Categories

    Systolic (mm Hg)

    Top #

    Diastolic (mm Hg)

    Bottom #


    less than 120


    less than 80


    120 – 129


    less than 80

    Hypertension (Stage 1)

    130 – 139


    80 – 89

    Hypertension (Stage 2)

    140 or higher


    90 or higher

    *CDC - High Blood Pressure


    Cholesterol tests show the cholesterol levels in the blood. Total cholesterol is based on LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and triglycerides. The HDL cholesterol in the blood is actually protective against heart disease, but the LDL cholesterol can increase risk of developing heart disease.

    Getting cholesterol checked and talking to a doctor about these numbers can help people understand how they impact overall risk and can be used to provide personalized guidance. For more information about cholesterol, visit the CDC’s cholesterol information website.​

    Body Weight

    A person's ideal body weight varies by gender, age, height and frame. Body mass index, a measure of body fat that is based on height and weight, is used as an indicator of a healthy weight. BMI can be calculated using an online tool.


    BMI Categories







    30 or higher


    People with a BMI classified as overweight or obese can talk with a doctor about changing their diet or exercising more to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reduce their risk of heart disease.


    Blood Sugar

    There are several blood tests that measure how much sugar is in the blood. People with higher blood sugar or "blood glucose" are at an increased risk of heart disease. The A1C measures average blood glucose over the past 2-3 months. The fasting blood sugar test measures blood sugar after an overnight fast, and the glucose tolerance test checks how the body moves sugar from the blood into the body tissues. 


    Blood Sugar Categories

    A1C Test

    Fasting Blood Sugar Test

    Glucose Tolerance Test


    below 5.7%

    99 mg/dL or below

    140 mg/dL or below



    100-125 mg/dL

    140-199 mg/dL


    6.5% or above

    126 mg/dL or above

    200 mg/dL

    *CDC - Diabetes Tests


    People with a high reading on these tests can talk to a doctor about what they can do to lower the reading and reduce their risk of diabetes, or control their diabetes if they have already been diagnosed.​