Thursday, June 17, 2010

Free Health Screening
Last week I had arranged for a free health screening for some of us in the workplace. My cousin who is doing her doctorate in Japan was looking for people who would like to take part in her research study, for the prevention of metabolic syndrome, and I figured, hey... why not ask the office?

So I did and they were pretty happy to take part (plus it's free!). When I told my cousin that my colleagues would like to participate, she told me that if I can get at least 10 people in the office who fall into the category she was studying, she could arrange for the lab technicians to come to the office to collect the samples. How cool is that! And lady luck was with us, the office had exactly 10 people between the ages of 30-65, Malaysian Chinese (11 if I include hubby).

The aim of this research is to conduct an extensive analysis and obtain data relating to the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, its risk factors, and association with other diseases in the course of epidemiologic and genetic studies of Japanese and Malaysian population. Through this research, we intend to establish an integrated strategy for the prevention of metabolic syndrome among people with various and differential background of lifestyle and genetic traits.
And so, the health screening was arranged. We had to fill up a questionnaire pertaining to our health condition, lifestyle and food consumption, provide our DNA samples, gave some blood and had our measurements (body weight, height, body fat) taken.

DNA swabs. Do they remind you of some CSI episode?

I had done my blood test last year, so it was kinda good to see if my readings were any better (or worse!) this year, heh! My concern was more towards the cholesterol reading, as my *LDL is a little high, heh! Plus I've never had my body fat measurement taken before, and it was interesting to see the contraption my cousin brought to measure just that. It had this base which looked like a scale, with 4 metal spots at the base, which you put your feet on. You have to hold this holder at arms' length, and a minuscule amount of electrical current will be sent through your body, from one foot to another foot.

After the DNA and body measurements were done, we each took turns to give our blood (5ml aje). I have to say this... The guy that took my blood, not very pro. He had to puncture both my arms to get the 5ml. Why? Because the first arm, my right arm... He found the vein (it's a very clear vein), poked the syringe in and pulled the syringe back. Somehow very little blood came out. And he tries to maneuver the syringe a few times, and all this time I was watching the syringe, still poked into my vein. Plus they had forgotten to bring the tight band to tie the upper arm.

So I told him, try the other arm. No sense you keep poking the same vein (and risk breaking the syringe while it's still in my vein!). So onwards to my left vein and wa-la! He got my 5ml. I know I'm doing injustice to the lab technician, as I was comparing him to my family doctor who has really steady hands (and skills!). Even hubby thought the lab technician wasn't very good, because even though hubby didn't have to be poked on both arms, there was still a bruise. My right arm still bears the bruise until today, as I write this blog post. Sorry cuz, have to say that lab fella wasn't all that pro after all~

After a few days, my cousin dropped by the office with our results. Some of my colleagues were comparing results, heh! Was good to see what our results were, and to be able to see the figures and how we can better improve them :P Overall, everyone's cholesterol level was a little high (some higher than the rest, and some with high glucose levels) so as most nutritionist would advice: Have a balanced and healthy lifestyle. I guess most Malaysians, our cholesterol would be a little bit high due to all the yummy available food we have in this country (not to mention sedentary lifestyle some might have).

So what are you waiting for? Stop sitting around in front of the computer and go do some exercise!

Thanks Roseline, for conducting this research study :)

*HDL - good cholesterol
LDL - bad cholesterol

Triclycerides - fatty acids