The quick health check

Last night while giving blood, they gave me a nice Red Cross O+ key ring, which can replace my RACV one now that I’m no longer a member. (Mind you, so far they’re still sending me newsletters and the occasional “Maybe you’ve forgotten to pay?” letter.)

They also let me know my vital blood statistics.

Blood pressure: 117 over 76. Apparently that’s good.

Haemoglobin: 163 (aka 16.3). Apparently that’s good too, though it always varies a bit. Last time it was 147.

Weight: 77.7 Kg. I think that’s up a bit in the last few years. I traditionally thought of myself as being about 75 Kg, and not all of the difference could be in winter clothes, could it?

(A previous post indicates that in the last five-ish years, my blood pressure is down slightly, and my weight is up. In fact a friend posted an old photo of me on Facebook last week where I look awfully thin.)

Recently an article in the paper about health checks was accompanied by a quick (and probably not overly scientific) quiz people could look through to see if they were at risk of diabetes (which my father has).

I’ve been meaning to try it, so, let’s have a look. My answers are at the bottom.

Quick diabetes risk check (from The Age 19/3/2008)

1. Your age. Under 45 – 0 points; 45-54 – 2 points; 55-64 – 3 points; over 64 – 4 points.

2. Your body mass index (kilograms divided by height in metres squared). Less than 25 – 0 point; 25-30 – 1 point; More than 30 – 3 points.

3. Waist measurement (below the ribs, usually at the navel).
Men: Less than 94cm – 0 points; 94-102cm – 3 points; More than 102cm – 4 points.
Women: Less than 80cm – 0 points; 80-88cm – 3 points; More than 88cm – 4 points.

4. On average at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day? Yes – 0 points; no – 2 points.

5. How often do you eat vegetables or fruit? Every day – 0 points; Not every day – 1 point.

6. Have you ever taken medication for high blood pressure on a regular basis? No – 0 points; Yes – 2 points.

7. Have you ever been found to have high blood glucose? No – 0 points; Yes – 5 points.

8. Have any of the members of your immediate family or other relatives been diagnosed with diabetes (type 1 or type 2)? No – 0 points; Yes, grandparent, uncle, aunt or first cousin – 3 points; Yes, parent, brother, sister or own child – 5 points.

Risk level – How many points?
Less than 7 – low risk; one in 100 will develop diabetes.
7-14 – intermediate risk. For 7-11, one in 25 will develop diabetes; for 12-14 it’s one in six.
15 or more – high risk; one in three (or one in two for scores over 20) will develop diabetes. And it says “Make an appointment today to see your doctor”!

My answers:
1. Under 45 – 0 points.
2. 23.98 kg/m2 – 0 points (just!)
3. Appears my waist has expanded slightly to 89cm. Happily my size 87 trousers all still fit – 0 points.
4. I hope so. I think so. Could do better, but for now I’ll say yes – 0 points.
5. Every day – 0 points.
6. No – 0 points.
7. No – 0 points.
8. Yes, my dad – 5 points.

So that lands me on 5 points, thankfully in the low risk category, as long as I stay on the straight and narrow. Sometimes my level of junk foods and lack of exercise is a worry though, and as I get older, I’ll get bumped into the intermediate category.

And at some stage it’s probably worth getting a Proper Health Check.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

One reply on “The quick health check”

I defenetly have a risk for type 2 diabetis. My father, aunt, grandfather and great grandfather have or had this disease. My health and habits are good but not as good as they could be. I do actively avoid eating sugar and sweets as much as I can though. At least now that I am in Australia I can worry less about healthcare than I did in the USA.

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