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Understanding Biometric Screening & Your Test Results

A doctor and an elderly patient are indoors at the woman's home. The doctor is talking to the woman while holding a tablet computer.

You might hear the term “biometric screening” a lot. It’s a part of UPMC’s Take a Healthy Step wellness program, and your doctor probably recommends having one every so often. But what exactly is a biometric screening and how do you understand your test results?

A biometric screening is a quick test session that provides you with key health information. Your doctor will measure your blood pressure, height and weight, and also calculate your BMI. And that’s not all — you will have a fasting blood draw to measure total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterols, triglycerides, and blood glucose levels. All kinds of general preventative screenings to ensure you’re the healthiest you possible!

Conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes often do not have any symptoms at all. Regular biometric screenings can help you take control of conditions before they damage your health further. Most health guidelines suggest having a biometric screening at least every five years, or as often as your doctor recommends.

Some employers — including UPMC — provide credit for completing a biometric screening as part of their employee wellness program. If you are due for a biometric screening, be sure to refer to your Take a Healthy Step guide or talk to your doctor about potential screenings!


Understanding Your Biometric Screening Results

So what do your results mean? Here are the desirable levels:

  • Total cholesterol
    • Less than 200 mg/dL is desirable
    • 200 – 240 mg/dL is borderline high
    • Above 240 mg/dL is considered high
  • HDL cholesterol
    • Women
      • 60 mg/dL or above is optimal
      • 50 – 59 mg/dL is healthy
      • Below 50 mg/dL is unhealthy
    • Men
      • 60 mg/dL or above is optimal
      • 40 – 59 mg/dL is healthy
      • Below 40 mg/dL is unhealthy
  • LDL cholesterol
    • Less than 100 mg/dL is desirable
    • 100 – 159 mg/dL is borderline high
    • 160 mg/dL or above is high
  • Triglycerides
    • Less than 150 mg/dL is desirable
    • 150 – 200 mg/dL is borderline high
    • Above 200 mg/dL is high
  • Blood glucose
    • Below 100 mg/dL is normal
    • 100 – 125 mg/dL is considered pre-diabetic
    • 126 mg/dL or above is considered diabetes
  • Blood pressure
    • Below 120/80 is desirable
    • 120/80 – 140/90 is pre-hypertensive
    • Above 140/90 is hypertensive
  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
    • Below 25 is desirable
    • 25 – 30 is overweight
    • Above 30 is obese

Once you have your results, you may have questions about them. Or maybe you are ready to take action and improve your results. Either way, our staff is here to help! Health coaches are available to UPMC Health Plan members. Your health coach can review your results with you, and help you set specific goals for your numbers.


Taking Action on Your Results

Contacting a health coach may also earn you additional credits in your employee wellness program! Our health coaches also specialize in weight loss, healthy eating, exercise, stress management, and tobacco cessation. They really can help you manage all areas of your health and wellness. To talk to UPMC Member Services, call 1-844-220-4785 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This information is not meant to diagnose any condition. If you have any questions or concerns about your individual test values, make sure you speak with your doctor. Or call our 24/7 advice line at 1-866-918-1591.