Testing Your Blood Sugar Levels to Assess Your Risk of Heart Disease
Find out which two blood sugar tests you need when screening for heart disease
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.
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 Disease Tests
What other heart disease 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 health tests to ensure optimal heart health.
Want to read detailed questions and answers about different heart disease tests? Check out the Q&A section of my Heart Disease Tests Health Center.
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Meet Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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