The health topic of the last couple of years in Japan has most certainly been Metabolic Syndrome, having certain characteristics associated with being fat that make you more prone to lifestyle diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Many countries have slightly different diagnostic measures; for Japan it is a waist greater than 85 cm for men, 90 cm for women; triglycerids greater than 150 mg/dL and/or HDL cholesterol of under 40 mg/dL; blood pressure greater than 130 over 85; and glucose level of 110 mg/dL or more.
With the recent introduction of mandatory screening for MetS (to use the official abbreviation), goo Research in conjunction with the Mainichi Shimbun decided to investigate what people think of these metabo examinations.
Between the 4th and 6th of April 2008 1,088 members of the goo Research monitor group over the age of 20 completed a private internet-based questionnaire. Further demographic data was not provided. Note that the sample size for some of the questions are not given and that answers have been abbreviated.
I’ve been chosen as a guinea pig for our company screening, but I might have forgotten to attend the test. I’ve lost the bit of paper, I think, and it looked more like an excuse to try to sell me life insurance.
Note that the new screening system is not just getting diagnosed as fat, but also includes health improvement advice and instruction.
Q1: Do you think you have metabolic syndrome? (Sample size=1,088)
Yes, been officially diagnosed 3% Not been diagnosed, but I think I am 27% Don’t think I am 61% Don’t know 10%
Q2: Do you know the basis for diagnosing metabolic syndrome? (Sample size=1,088)
Know them all 10% Know some of them 68% Don’t know any 22%
These are the factors described in the paragraph at the start of this article; waist, cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
Q3: Do you welcome the introduction of these special metabolic syndrome examinations? (Sample size=1,088)
Yes (to SQ1) 65% No (to SQ2) 35%
Q3SQ1: Why do you welcome the introduction of these special metabolic syndrome examinations? (Sample size=those welcoming them)
Because it will encourage one to re-evaluate one’s lifestyle 67% Because I think it will result in lower medical fees in the future 19% Because I’m concerned that I or family might have metabolic syndrome 14%
Q3SQ2: Why do you not welcome the introduction of these special metabolic syndrome examinations? (Sample size=those not welcoming them)
Because I don’t think it’s necessary to make it compulsory 57% Because I think it puts more pressure on local government, health insurance unions finances 24% Because I can’t trust the basis of the examinations, outcome 20%