Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Health Screening

My company held a free "health screening" for employees, as part of some health awareness push. I skimmed over the announcement and wasn't too interested until I noticed the screening included a blood test! Now there is something I can't readily measure on my own so I signed up.

The screen was setup in the 3rd floor break room, which is large enough for a seperate kitchen area, pool table, and table tennis. All that stuff was pushed aside and several tables were brought in for the various stations. It was pretty crowded so participation was really high among the employees.

The first table was sign in and the usual disclaimers. The second station was blood pressure, and mine measure at 129/82, which is "pre-hypertension". Measured again it came out to 109/79, or normal. I'm not really sure the device was properly calibrated.

The second station was height/weight for the BMI calculation. I'm 5'5" and at 138 pounds my BMI came out to 23.0, which falls in the desired range (which is less than 25).

All this was fine but not really why I came. The third table was the blood test. The nurse took a dab of blood from my middle finger and put it into a machine, so I sat on the side until the results came back. After a few minutes someone called my name and I went to hear the results. They gave me a sheet with my numbers written in on the side, and some range data so I could see where I fell.

Glucose was 131, where <100 was normal (fasting) and <140 is normal (non-fasting). Since I ate breakfast in the morning my level was fine. LDL cholesterol was 49, where <100 is optimal. HDL cholesterol was 81, where >60 is optimal.

Triglycerides was <45, where <150 is optimal. So far so good!

But my total cholesterol was 210, where <200 is desirable and >240 is high. I fell into the "borderline" area.

Later that evening I saw my friend Francis at the Y running group and he said he had the same result - each subarea was fine but the total was in the borderline region.

Hm... this will be a project to look into, reducing cholesterol in my diet.

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