The Power of Knowing Your Numbers

The Power of Knowing Your Numbers

Jeff Lanser, a Network Health employee, has always been a healthy guy. He prides himself on his health – working out regularly and monitoring his water intake. He is the youngest of 10 in a family that has no history of any heart disease. Jeff is also the kind of guy who likes to know how his body is doing, so he participates in his company’s biometric screening program every year when it’s offered.

Biometric screenings measure physical characteristics such as height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure and blood cholesterol. For seven years Jeff has been getting these numbers checked and participating in the health risk assessment. Year after year, his numbers came back in the normal range. But that all changed in the fall of 2015.

“I did the onsite health exam through my employer like I did every year,” Jeff says. “The biometric results came back and I realized something wasn’t right.”

Jeff’s biometric screening showed that his triglycerides had tripled since the previous year. He immediately scheduled and went in for a physical to find out what was going on. His personal doctor had Jeff take a stress test where they monitored his breathing, blood pressure and heart rhythm.

“I was on the treadmill for maybe six minutes when they stopped the exam,” Jeff says. “I wasn’t feeling winded or short of breath, but they were acting like I was going to pass out or something.”

The numbers on the stress test showed that something was wrong with Jeff’s heart. A cardiac catherization confirmed that there was blockage in one of Jeff’s main arteries. Two days later he saw a heart surgeon to discuss surgery.

“I had over 90 percent blockage in the area that they call the ‘widow maker’ – the doctor told me that if I had kept going at the rate I was, I could’ve been gone in a flash,” Jeff recalls.

It was about four months from the time that Jeff got his biometric numbers checked to the time he had open heart surgery.

“Getting your biometric screening only takes ten minutes and can save your life,” Jeff says. “Why wouldn’t you do it?”

Like Network Health, many employers believe that biometric screenings and health risk assessments can help identify health issues and manage chronic conditions. Health risk assessments are used to identify potential health issues and include questions on medical history, health status and lifestyle. Biometric screenings go one step further and measure issues such as cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and triglycerides. An annual wellness visit is included with most health plans. Take advantage of this life-saving benefit by scheduling an appointment with your personal doctor today.

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