Blood Sugar Testing to Assess Your Heart Disease Risk

Filed Under: Diagnostic Tools, Heart Health
Last Reviewed 03/06/2014

Blood Sugar Testing to Assess Your Heart Disease Risk

Most people associate blood sugar testing exclusively with diabetes testing. But when performing routine screening for heart disease, I highly recommend having a fasting HbA1c test and a fasting insulin test to determine your level of insulin sensitivity. Both of these tests measure how much glucose is in your blood, and they are especially important if you are overweight or are a woman whose waist measures more than 35 inches or a man whose waist measures more than 40 inches. These body measurements are one indication of metabolic syndrome—a widely prevalent but symptomless condition that often precedes the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The Importance of Blood Sugar Testing Numbers

It’s important to have both of these blood sugar tests because the fasting insulin test measures the insulin level, while the HbA1c test measures the average amount of glucose in your blood over the past several weeks. Together they provide the most comprehensive picture of your blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, which are both important when assessing heart disease risk.

My Sinatra Smart Zone recommendation for an optimal fasting blood sugar level is less than 95 mg/dL.

My Sinatra Smart Zone recommendation for optimal hemoglobin A1C is 5.6 and below. A suitable level is 5.7-5.9, and if it's over 6 I get concerned.

My Sinatra Smart Zone recommendation for an optimal fasting insulin level is less than 17 uU/mL.

More Dr. Sinatra Advice on Heart Tests

What other heart tests should you consider? Get information on the array of heart disease tests I use when evaluating and treating my own patients.

Undergoing heart disease testing but unsure what your scores indicate? Get my Sinatra Smart Zone values for a wide array of heart tests to ensure optimal heart health.

Want to read detailed questions and answers about different heart tests? Check out the Q&A section of my Heart Disease Tests Health Center.

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