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Everybody needs a health check-up. The question then arises, which tests should be done as part of a health check-up? The 26th Perfect Health Mela, which begins on Friday, 18th October at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, gives you the answer to this question.
The A1c or glycosylated haemoglobin is recommended as a diagnostic test for type 2 diabetes. It gives the average level of blood sugar over the last 3 months. A1c will tell you if you have diabetes and if you are a diabetic, it will tell you, whether your diabetes is under control.
A1c should be less than 6.5 and ideally it should be <5.5. If more than 6.5, this means diabetes, if between 5.5 and 6.5, this is prediabetes. In elderly, A1c up to 8 is allowed, in high risk, up to 7 is allowed.
If A1c is normal, then you don’t need to repeat it for the next 3 years. But, if you have diabetes, repeat the test every 3 months, till the blood sugar is controlled (glycemic control).
But everybody should get their blood sugar tested once after the age of 30 years. The normal blood sugar should be 80-110 mg/dL.
TSH is another important screening test. TSH up to 10 can be ignored. But, if TSH is normal, repeat it after 3-5 years. Hypothyroidism is common in persons older than 60 years. But, a high index of suspicion is required to diagnose as symptoms are non-specific. Get TSH done in an elderly person in the presence of unexplained high cholesterol, heart failure, bowel movement changes, joint or muscle pain, psychiatric problems, dementia, balance problems.
If the lipid profile is normal, then repeat it after 5 years
BP should be measured first at the time of school entry, then at the age of 10 years, at 20 years, at 30 years and then annually.
If urine is normal, then for practical purposes, no further screening test is needed. A normal urinalysis rules out kidney disease and diabetes.
All these tests are available at the Perfect Health Mela.
A free Diabetes Check-up camp will be held at the Mela wherein 1000 people will be tested free of cost for HbA1c in memory of Shri Arun Jaitley; 300 people will be tested on the first two days of the Mela; on the third day, 400 people will be tested.
ECG is also available free of cost at the Mela. Other screening tests are available at a very subsidized cost
Two important tests at the Mela are the Fitness Index and the Happiness Index.
The six-minute walk test (6MWT) is a simple test to assess your fitness or exercise intolerance. It will tell you if you need any further investigation. But, fitness index does not tell you that you don’t have any disease. You can be fit, even with disease and you can be unfit, even without disease.
Do a 6MWT at the Mela and be part of the #MainFitToHiIndiaFit movement. “I can walk between 400-700 m in six minutes on a hard flat surface without any discomfort.”
Health is not just about physical health only, “it is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Therefore, the most important test at the Perfect Health Mela this year is the Happiness Index. Most everybody is unhappy today. Relational disharmony, job dissatisfaction are some of the factors at the root of unhappiness.
Visit the Mela to find out your Happiness Index and join the #MainKhushToHiIndiaKhush movement.
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA