Employee Health: Knowing Your Numbers

Nadia Accelin-Lothian enjoys having her blood pressure checked to make sure it is still under control.

Nadia Accelin-Lothian decided to do a Personal Health Assessment last summer because of the offered $800 medical insurance credit. Yet, what she learned at her screening was far more valuable. In fact, it may have saved her life. Because Accelin-Lothian’s blood pressure registered at a dangerously high 200/150, Hampton Roads Wellness Coordinator Amy Cutter insisted she get to a doctor right away.

Within just a few hours, Accelin-Lothian had seen an internist and received a prescription for the medication that has lowered her pressure to a more normal range. If Accelin-Lothian hadn’t attended the Bon Secours Employee Wellness screening that day, she doesn’t know what might have happened.

“I felt fine. I had no symptoms. I was OK, but that’s why they call it the ‘silent killer,’” said Accelin-Lothian, an RN, who is a supervisor at Bon Secours Maryview Nursing Care Center. The Bon Secours Employee Wellness team encourages everyone to “know their numbers,” said Kara Weaver, Bon Secours Richmond wellness program manager. Some important numbers to know:

  • Blood pressure. For most adults, the systolic (top number) should be 120 or less and the diastolic (bottom number) 80 or less. 140/90 or higher is high blood pressure.
  • Cholesterol. “Good cholesterol” is HDL, and you want it to be higher. The “bad cholesterol” is LDL, and you want it to be lower. Remember this by H is for higher and L is for lower.
  • BMI. BMI measures your weight in relationship to your height. An adult’s BMI should be lower than 25.

Today, with her blood pressure managed, Accelin-Lothian often shares her story. “I even went up to someone at the grocery store and asked if they’ve had their blood pressure checked lately,” she said.

Look for more Employee Wellness tips and resources this year via www.bonsecourswellness.com and other communications as part of the new Good Health Matters campaign.

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