How's this for a coincidence. As I sit reading a blog about the importance of diagnosing preexisting conditions, Juliet Rodman (our dietitian extraordinaire) tells me the story of an at-risk employee she saw at a health fair last week.
He was in his mid-30s, the father of two young children. Although he wasn't aware of any preexisting health conditions, the biometric screening showed that he had elevated blood sugar -- one component of metabolic syndrome and a possible indication of pre-diabetes.
The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute define metabolic syndrome as the presence of three or more of the following conditions:
- Elevated waist circumference (greater than 40 inches for men, or 35 inches for women)
- Elevated triglycerides (greater than 150 mg/dL)
- Reduced HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL)
- Elevated blood pressure (greater 130/85)
- Elevated fasting glucose (greater than 100 mg/dL)
Metabolic syndrome can lead to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease, as well as type 2 diabetes. It's also shockingly common -- 1 in 6 Americans have it. That's 50 million people!
This is why so many companies are scheduling health fairs for their employees. They know that catching risky health conditions early means avoiding huge medical care costs down the road.
We're happy to report that as a result of his screening results, Juliet's participant made an appointment with his physician for a checkup.
Conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes are often manageable, but first your employees need to know their numbers! If you've thought about planning a screening, we can help take the guesswork out of the process. Drop us a line if you have any questions.