6 For Life Health Screening Assessment uses a finger-stick blood test, along with blood pressure screening and other factors to predict your risk of developing 6 conditions: Heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and lung cancer.
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*Screening availability may be limited by location.
6 for Life preventive health risk assessment test uses a finger-stick blood test and a scientific tool to predict your 5-year risk of developing six chronic conditions. It starts with a brief, one-page questionnaire about your health history and your lifestyle habits. Next, a simple finger-stick blood test measures your good and bad cholesterol and your glucose (sugar) levels. We also measure your blood pressure, your waist size, and calculate your body mass index.
This is all run through a predictive program based on more than 100 clinical studies, including the landmark Framingham Heart Study. The report provides a Risk Score (0 through 100) that will determine if the risk is Low, Moderate, High, or Very High. The report also outlines steps you can take to reduce your risk for developing these conditions.
The components include:
Modifiable risk factors are ones you can change. They are the ones you can take steps to reduce or eliminate from your overall risk factor profile. Modifiable risk factors include:
The big one here is family history. You can’t change your mother’s history or your father’s. If a first-degree female relative has suffered one before the age of 65, you are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Age is another one. Risk rises as you age.
Gender. Men are more at-risk overall but once women pass menopause, a woman’s risk is similar to a man’s.
Socioeconomic status. Poverty leads to a lack of healthcare, stress, mental health problems, and an overall lack of resources is detrimental to health.
It is important to note the limitations of this health risk assessment test. It does not tell you that you will, for sure, develop these conditions. It only gives you a measure of risk. It does not give you a prediction of risk over any specific time period, and since we do not image the heart itself, we are not providing any information on the presence or lack of atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries. Showing a low risk score also does not mean that you won’t develop disease.
According to a study done by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80% of chronic diseases are preventable. You have to know where you are starting to map out where you need to go so consider a health screening assessment as your starting point.
People who want to be proactive about their health and have relevant risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, being overweight, and anyone with a family history of any vascular disease. It is a health risk assessment test, designed to point to certain risk factors that may lead to disease, although it doesn’t mean they will. The idea is that understanding your risk before something happens can allow you and your doctor to put preventive strategies in place.
1Seshadri S, Beiser A, Kelly-Hayes M, et al., The Lifetime Risk of Stroke: Estimates from the Framingham Study. Stroke, 2006; 37:345-350.
2Key risk factors include diabetes, obesity, age 55+, smoking (past or present), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a family history of stroke or heart disease.