Know Your Numbers

man checking his blood sugar

People with prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes are more likely to have high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. They are also likely to be overweight or obese. All these factors increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other serious health problems.

If you have prediabetes or diabetes, it's crucial to monitor blood cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and weight.

Maybe you aren’t experiencing any symptoms. Why is monitoring these numbers still important? Keep in mind that there are no clear symptoms for people with prediabetes, and diabetes may be severe before there are any warning signs.

How your numbers are monitored

By drawing blood, your health care professional can conduct a lipid profile to check your blood cholesterol and glucose tests to check your blood sugar. Your blood pressure and weight are even easier to check with a blood pressure monitor and scale.

Between health care visits, you can monitor and track your blood sugar, blood pressure and weight. Easy-to-use home glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors and scales are available at retailers, pharmacies and online. By keeping track of your numbers in between health care visits, you will be better able to manage your health.

Target numbers for people with diabetes

People with diabetes should keep these health numbers within the following ranges:

Critical Health Marker Recommended Range More Information
Blood sugar
The amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood

HbA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) more than 5.7% and less than 6.4%


HbA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin) greater than 6.5%
Blood sugar is also measured by the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in your blood. An A1c test gives you a picture of your average blood sugar control for the past 2 to 3 months and provides you with a better idea of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working.
Blood pressure
The force of blood against the arteries when the heart beats and rests
Less than 130/80 mm Hg Blood pressure is typically measured by an automatic cuff. Systolic pressure (top number) is the peak pressure in the arteries, and diastolic pressure (bottom number) is the lowest pressure.

Get more information about high blood pressure.
Blood cholesterol
A waxy substance produced by the liver
Get your cholesterol checked and talk to your health care professional about your numbers and how they impact your overall risk. Because cholesterol is unable to dissolve in the blood, it must be transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein (or LDL) cholesterol, is known as "bad" cholesterol; high-density lipoprotein (or HDL) cholesterol, is known as "good" cholesterol.

Get more information about cholesterol.
Body weight

A body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-24.9

For Asian populations, BMI of 18.5-22.9

Waistline smaller than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men

A person's ideal body weight varies by gender, age, height and frame. Your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference provide good indicators of whether you are at a healthy weight.

Get more information about weight management.

Download: The Numbers You Need to Know (PDF)

If your numbers are not at the target level, work with your health care team to develop a plan to reach these goals.

Woman posing in red dress

Living with Type 2 diabetes?

Get monthly science-based diabetes and heart-healthy tips in your inbox. Know Diabetes by Heart raises awareness that living with Type 2 diabetes increases risk for heart disease and stroke – and that people should talk with their doctor at their next appointment about ways to reduce risk.