NOVEMBER 2016 ;e Costco Connection 109
To learn more about Costco Pharmacy, click on the “Pharmacy”
link at Costco.com or call toll-free 1-800-607-6861.
COSTCO PHARMACIES offer health and wellness
screenings for diabetes, heart health and osteoporosis. Health screenings can help identify risk factors
for or prevent progression of these diseases, and can
help you control your condition if you have already
been diagnosed. A pharmacist will review your
screening results with you and help you determine
what changes you can make to reduce your risk.
Fortunately, you can take steps to lower your
risk of diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.
Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and a
healthy diet, can prevent the development or progression of these diseases, and taking medications
can help prevent or delay complications from them.
Here is what can be expected during each screening.
Diabetes. People with diabetes have blood glucose levels that are above normal. This happens
because the body doesn’t make enough insulin or
can’t use insulin well enough to get glucose into the
cells. Long-term complications of diabetes include
heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and the need
for amputations. According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (
than 29 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes and
a quarter of them don’t know it. During this screening, a small drop of blood is drawn to measure the
hemoglobin A1c level, which reflects your average
blood sugar level over the last three months.
Healthy Heart. In the United States, about
610,000 people die every year due to heart disease,
including heart attacks and strokes. High blood
pressure, high cholesterol and smoking are risk fac-
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
tors for developing heart disease, and almost half of
all Americans have at least one of these risk factors.
A Healthy Heart screening at Costco includes
a written risk assessment, a blood pressure measurement and a finger-stick cholesterol panel. The
finger-stick test measures total cholesterol, bad
cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL), good
cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) and
triglycerides. In order to have the most accurate
and complete results, it is best to fast before the
Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a loss of bone
mass, which makes bones weak and more likely to
break. This condition is common in women over
50, in people with a family history of osteoporosis
and in people who are small and thin. Some medications, such as corticosteroids and anti-seizure
medications, can also contribute to bone loss.
Bone density testing is performed by doing an
ultrasound of the heel bone. The test takes about
one minute and provides immediate results. The
result is reported as a T-score, which is a number
that compares one’s bone density to the average
bone density of a young, healthy person. A T-score
that is greater than minus 1 is considered normal.
The T-score can help determine your risk of having
a bone fracture; the lower the T-score, the higher
the risk for fracture.
The screenings are free and are offered at
Costco pharmacies throughout the country. To
find a screening in your area, go to Costco.com and
search “health fairs.”
ONE IN three
high blood pres-
sure, and only
about half of
have their high
the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention
cdc.gov). Living with high blood
pressure can lead to an increased
risk of heart disease and stroke,
among other issues. As a result,
medical experts now recommend
home monitoring for many people,
even if they have not yet been
diagnosed with hypertension.
However, few Americans actu-
ally measure their blood pressure
at home, despite the overwhelm-
ing benefits of doing so. One of
the biggest reasons is that people
simply find the process to be
The new Premium Blood
Pressure Monitor from Microlife
aims to change that perception by
measuring blood pressure during
inflation, not deflation. This
reduces the time it takes to
obtain a reading, and lowers the
overall pressure in the cuff.
Combined with the new ergonomic arm cuff, this results in a
more comfortable process.
It is important to remember
that blood pressure is a dynamic
measurement and varies not only
from day to day, but also within a
given day. It can be influenced by
variables such as diet, stress,
smoking and exercise. Regular
monitoring at home can help you
better understand how these elements influence your readings.
If you have any questions
about Microlife blood pressure
monitors, please ask your Costco
pharmacist, or call Microlife
Customer Service at 1-800-568-
4147. Item #1064552, available in
the warehouse and Costco.com.