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Story Updated: Jul 3, 2013

You know the drill, each time you go to the doctor for a check up...he talks to you about controlling your blood pressure and watching your cholesterol levels... both proven ways to fight heart disease.

But how big is the benefit when you keep those numbers in check? Huge, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at blood pressure and cholesterol data from more than 17-thousand men and women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

They also factored in race, age, smoking history and whether there was a diagnosis of diabetes, heart or kidney disease.

The results? Controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol together may cut your heart disease risk by half...or more. yet, fewer than one in three patients have both conditions under control something the researchers call a major public health threat.

The take home? See your doctor regularly to check these important numbers, and be open to treatments, including medication, to better manage your risk.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news that can keep you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and happy.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.