Health screenings are a great way to get an idea of your current health status, as well as areas you may need to make some improvements. Be sure to talk with your family doctor, or a DePauw University Wellness Center physician, if you have questions or concerns – or simply would like ideas to help improve your health. Making an appointment with a Certified Wellness Nurse is another great option. Employees and their dependents that participate in the DePauw University Health Plan have access to physician appointments and wellness coaching. Start today by scheduling an appointment at DePauwHealth.org/Schedule or by calling (765) 658-4555.

Here is some helpful information about many common health screenings, what they measure, and why they are an important part of your preventative health plan. If you would like more information or resources, be sure to review to the Prevention Checklist from the Centers for Disease Control.

Blood Pressure

Recommended age: all adults

High blood pressure can strain the heart, making it have to work harder to push blood through the body. Elevated blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease or heart attack. Consistent measurements above 140/90 should be reported to your doctor. Learn more at hendricks.org/heart or The National Institutes of Health.

Cholesterol

Recommended age: all adults

Cholesterol can be found naturally in your blood, and is essential to life. Too much cholesterol, however, can lead to hypertension, heart attack or stroke. A healthy total cholesterol level is under 200.

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL)

Recommended age: all adults

LDL is often referred to as the “bad” cholesterol. This is because it can indirectly increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Your LDL or “bad” cholesterol should be between 50 and 70.

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)

Recommended age: all adults

 

HDL is often called the “good” cholesterol because it can decrease your risk of a heart attack or stroke. It does this by removing unwanted cholesterol from where it doesn’t belong in your body. HDL cholesterol levels greater than 40 to 60 mg/dL are desired.

Glucose

Recommended age: all adults

Glucose is the main source of energy for the body. The amount of glucose in your blood is an indicator of how effectively your body processes sugar. The goal is to maintain blood sugar levels of:

  • 80-130 before a meal
  • less than 180 two hours after a meal.

Colonoscopy or Sigmoidoscopy

Recommended age: 50 and over
The American Cancer Society recommends everyone age 50 or over be
screened for colon cancer. People with higher than average risk for colon
cancer should begin screenings at a younger age. Talk to your doctor about
what tests are right for you.

Mammography

Recommended age: *40 and over
*Those at higher risk may need to start earlier
Every woman should have an annual clinical breast exam. In addition, the
American Cancer Society recommends women 40 or over get annual mammogram screenings. A doctor’s order is not needed to schedule a mammogram. Learn more at hendricks.org/mammo or by visiting komen.org.

Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

Recommended age: 45 and over
The Hendricks Regional Health Center for Diabetes Excellence helps patients manage their diabetes. The center focuses on blood sugar monitoring, medication management, insulin management, exercise recommendations, nutrition, preventing complications and more. For more information, visit hendricks.org/diabetes.
The Hendricks Regional Health YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program facilitates a small group of participants in learning healthier eating, physical activity and other behavior changes over the course of 16 one-hour sessions. Participants meet monthly for added support to help maintain their progress.This program is part of the CDC National Diabetes Prevention Program. For more information, please call (317) 266-9622 or email preventdiabetes@indyymca.org.

Sleep

Recommended age: all ages
Most people experience trouble sleeping at one time or another. This is normal and usually temporary, brought on by factors like stress. But it’s not normal to regularly feel sleepy during the day, have problems getting to sleep at night, or to wake up feeling exhausted. When sleep problems affect your everyday life, it’s time to take a close look at your symptoms. Learn more or take the Epworth Sleepiness Quiz at hendricks.org/sleep.

Lung and Heart Scans

Recommended age: *55 and over
*Those at high risk may need to start earlier
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends yearly lung screenings for those over age 55, who have smoked within the past 15 years or have a “pack-year” smoking history higher than 30. Annual screenings can detect lung cancer in its earliest stage, when up to 90 percent can be cured. A Heart Scan checks for coronary artery disease, which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries. The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have determined a heart scan is necessary if you have high or borderline-high blood pressure or cholesterol, have diabetes, have a family history of heart disease, are overweight or you smoke. To learn more, call (317) 718-8500 or visit hendricks.org/scan.