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Health, Safety & Work-Life Directorate

Office of Work-Life Programs -
Clinical Screeningspicture of a stethoscope

Who is Eligible for this Program?
Clinical screening is available to the following members of Team Coast Guard:

Purpose of Program
Clinical screenings such as cholesterol, blood pressure and body fat screenings are intended to identify individuals with elevated readings and make appropriate referrals to sources of medical care. The risk of heart disease and other related illness rises as cholesterol, blood pressure and body fat increase. When other risk factors such as cigarette smoking and inactivity are present, the risk grows even more.

These screenings provided by the Health Promotion Program are not intended to replace regular examinations by a health care provider and should only be used to gain information to share that may be important to share with your physician.

Definitions
The following definitions apply to Cholesterol Screening:

Screening Information:

Cholesterol The Coast Guard Health Promotion Program can conduct non-fasting and fasting cholesterol screenings for individuals and entire units. The screening involves a finger-stick test where a few drops of blood are needed to analyze cholesterol levels. Results are available in five to seven minutes. A non-fasting test will determine total cholesterol and HDL (good cholesterol) levels. A fasting test can determine total cholesterol, HDL, LDL (bad cholesterol), triglyceride and glucose levels.
Blood Pressure High blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because it typically does not produce any symptoms but can be deadly if left untreated. Blood Pressure screenings take only a few minutes and can provide valuable information to the participant about their current cardiac risk.

After the screening, Health Promotion Managers can provide information to the participant to assist them in lowering their blood pressure levels. Individuals who are screened at “high risk” for coronary artery disease will be referred to their health care provider for further evaluation.
Body Fat Analysis People seeking to achieve a healthy body composition should not rely on scale weight alone as a measure of success. Body fat, or the percentage of fat versus lean body tissue, is a better indicator of a person’s overall health. Body fat screenings can be done by a Health Promotion Manager in just a few minutes by using a skin fold caliper or a bioelectrical impedance device. Members should be dressed in exercise attire to have this screening done.

Requesting Services or Resources
These services or resources can be obtained by contacting the Health Promotion Manager on your Regional Work-Life Staff. Work-Life Staffs are located at Integrated Support Commands CG-wide and at the Headquarters Support Command.

Screening Guidelines and Recommendations
AHA Recommendation
Total blood cholesterol is the most common measurement of blood cholesterol. Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Knowing your total blood cholesterol level is an important first step in determining your risk for heart disease. However, a critical second step is knowing your HDL ("good") cholesterol level.

Blood cholesterol for adults is classified by levels. Your doctor must interpret your cholesterol numbers based on other risk factors such as age, family history, smoking and high blood pressure.

Initial classification based on total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol:

Total cholesterol HDL cholesterol
Less than 200 mg/dL - Desirable blood cholesterol
200 to 239 mg/dL - Borderline-high blood cholesterol
240 mg/dL and over - High blood cholesterol
Less than 35 mg/dL - Low HDL cholesterol

The AHA endorses these National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines:

Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL and HDL 35 mg/dL or higher
  • Unless you have other risk factors for heart disease, your chance of heart attack is relatively low.
  • It's still a good idea to eat a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol diet and stay physically active to help maintain a desirable cholesterol level.
  • You should have your cholesterol levels rechecked within 5 years or at your next physical exam.
Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL and HDL less than 35 mg/dL
  • You should have your LDL ("bad") cholesterol level checked. Your doctor will interpret these numbers for you and tell you when to have your cholesterol levels rechecked.
  • Work with your doctor to control any other risk factors you have.
  • Take steps to modify your diet and increase your physical activity to reduce your risk.
Total cholesterol 200 to 239, HDL 35 mg/dL or higher and fewer than 2 risk factors
  • You may have twice the risk of heart disease as people whose levels are less than 200.
  • Work with your doctor to control any other risk factors you have.
  • Have your cholesterol levels rechecked in 1-2 years.
  • Take steps to modify your diet and increase your physical activity to reduce your risk.
  • Not every person whose cholesterol level is in the 200 to 239 range is at increased risk.
Total cholesterol 200 to 239, HDL less than 35 mg/dL or 2 or more risk factors
  • You may have twice the risk of heart disease as people whose levels are less than 200.
  • You should have your LDL ("bad") cholesterol level checked. Your doctor will interpret these numbers for you and tell you when to have your cholesterol levels rechecked.
  • Work with your doctor to control any other risk factors you have.
  • Take steps to modify your diet and increase your physical activity to reduce your risk.
Cholesterol 240 and above
  • Your risk of heart disease is especially high if you have heart disease or other risk factors for heart disease.
  • You need to have your LDL ("bad") cholesterol level checked. Your doctor will interpret these numbers for you and tell you when to have your cholesterol levels rechecked.
  • Have your doctor test you for other risk factors. Ask for advice on how to help reduce your risk.

Blood Pressure Guidelines and Recommendations
When you have your blood pressure taken, what do the numbers mean? The higher number, or systolic pressure, represents the pressure exerted when the heart is beating. The lower number, or diastolic pressure, represents the pressure exerted when the heart is at rest between beats. For example, a blood pressure reading of 120 over 80 (120/80) would mean that your systolic pressure is 122 mm Hg and your diastolic pressure is 80 mm Hg. (Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, or mm Hg).

Blood Pressure Optimal Normal High Normal Hypertension
Systolic Less than 120 Less than 130 130-139 140 or higher
Diastolic Less than 80 Less than 85 85-89 90 or higher

Treating high blood pressure may include a low-fat, low-salt diet, losing weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake and getting more exercise. In addition, medications can be used to reduce and control your blood pressure.

Body Fat Guidelines and Recommendations
A certain amount of body fat is required for normal body functioning. Fat regulates body temperature, stores energy and insulates organs and tissues. However, excess body fat can inhibit these functions and cause an increase in cardiac risk. The following table describes the different ranges for body fat:

Classification Women (% fat) Men (% fat)
Essential Fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% plus 25% plus

Understanding your current body fat percentage can help to determine whether an individual’s weight loss goals are realistic. Decreasing body fat is best achieved by increasing activity, especially resistance training and decreasing intake of high fat foods.

Important: Body Fat screenings provided by the Health Promotion Program will NOT be substituted for an active duty member’s required bi-annual weight screening.

Related Web Sites
The following web sites provide information related to high blood cholesterol:

Point of Contact
If you are unable to contact the Health Promotions Manager on your Regional Work-Life Staff, or need additional assistance beyond the information provided here, please contact the Headquarters Health Promotions Program Manager, Tim Merrell at (202) 475-5146, fax (202) 475-5907, or e-mail at Timothy.M.Merrell@uscg.mil.

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Last Modified 6/11/2014