HEALTH

BioIQ boosts employee wellness offerings with home test kits

BY Michael Johnsen

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. BioIQ, a provider of health test kits and medical data management solutions, on Tuesday announced that Scripps Health has elected to enhance its employee wellness program for the second consecutive year by offering home test kits from BioIQ and Alere.

Scripps employees who choose to participate in the organization’s wellness program are required to start by completing an annual wellness assessment, which checks their biometric numbers to monitor their risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other serious conditions.  Employees may complete their annual assessment on site at a Scripps facility, or if they prefer, via a home test kit at their convenience. 

“Scripps’ goal with the home test kits was to achieve an overall employee participation rate of 50 percent for the diabetes and cholesterol screening,” said Hamilton Mears, manager of corporate wellness and health promotion at Scripps Health. “The home testing program contributed toward our efforts to reach this goal.” 

With the BioIQ home test kits, participants supply a small blood sample via a prick of the finger and mail the samples to a certified laboratory. 

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HEALTH

New study finds pregnant women with glucose intolerance at risk of heart disease

BY Michael Johnsen

ONTARIO, Canada Mild glucose intolerance in pregnancy may be an early identifier of women who are at increased risk of heart disease in the future, found a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

In a large population-based cohort study, researchers from the University of Toronto and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences studied data on 435,696 women in Ontario, Canada, who gave birth between April, 1994 and March, 1998. All women were followed until March 31, 2008. The study excluded women with pre-existing diabetes.

“Women who had an abnormal glucose challenge test but then did not have gestational diabetes had an increased risk of future cardiovascular disease, compared to the general population, but a lower risk than women who actually did have gestational diabetes,” stated Baiju Shah, Institute for Clinical and Evaluative Sciences and coauthor.

Therefore, current screening procedures for gestational diabetes might also provide a means for the early identification of women who are at risk for developing heart disease later in life.

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