How Can Biometric Screening Help Predict Susceptibility To COVID-19?

by Kroger Health Staff

Last Updated: August 24, 2020

Although experts initially believed COVID-19 primarily caused respiratory symptoms, as the pandemic continues to evolve, evidence of additional physiological symptoms associated with COVID-19 continue to emerge. While symptoms vary from person to person, those with pre-existing conditions are at higher risk of suffering severe symptoms and higher mortality rates, particularly those with heart disease. An analysis of 99 cases published in The Lancet shows the fatality rate of patients with cardiovascular conditions is over 10% higher than the average population. Patients with diabetes have a 7% higher mortality rate and patients with hypertension have a 6% higher mortality rate. In the midst of the global pandemic, it is even more vital to support overall health and detect new developing conditions as early as possible. Biometric screening can help to do just that.
  1. What is biometric screening?
    Biometric screening is a clinical evaluation that incorporates a variety of tests to determine health risk based on a number of health indicators. While the particular tests may vary from practitioner to practitioner, screening measurements may include height, weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar. The goal of these screenings is to identify any unknown health risks and to create a risk reduction strategy.
  2. Why is it important?
    A variety of health issues may be detected through biometric screening. Elevated blood sugar is an indicator of diabetes, while heightened blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels can be indicators of heart disease - the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the AHA, there were 7.6 million adults with undiagnosed diabetes in 2018, and people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease. Additionally, 75 million Americans suffer from hypertension with approximately 11 million undiagnosed cases. With higher fatality rates for COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease, it’s more important than ever to make lifestyle adjustments necessary to support overall heart health.
  3. How can it help predict susceptibility to COVID-19?
    While biometric screening does not directly indicate susceptibility to COVID-19, regular monitoring can provide insight into overall health and bring awareness to developing issues. With underlying conditions indicating higher susceptibility to severe illness from COVID-19, analyzing biometric measures can help you catch a developing condition and implement lifestyle changes or treatment to control the condition before it becomes severe.

As the pandemic continues, any tool we can enlist to help combat the virus is worth considering. Biometric screening is an easy way to monitor your overall health, with the added benefit of providing early warning signs for conditions that can put you at risk for complications with COVID-19. For more information on biometric screening, contact your primary care physician or schedule an appointment to discuss this tool with a Kroger Health practitioner.

Disclaimer: The information in this story is accurate as of its publication. However, the situation surrounding COVID-19 is ever-evolving. We are working to keep our stories up-to-date as changes occur, but we also encourage everyone to check news and recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and their local authorities.