A medical term which has found currency during the COVID-19 pandemic is “comorbidity”. Comorbidity is the presence of one or more pre-existing medical conditions co-occurring with a primary condition.
A number of comorbidities are reported to have correlations with the development of severe COVID-19 symptoms, i.e., symptoms severe enough to require intensive care or result in death. A useful and up to date list of them can be found on the NHS web site.
This article graphs the results of two studies into the size of the correlations:
1. The original China study from February 2020 published by the World Health Organisation and which is still often quoted.
2. A UK study from May 2020 published in the Lancet.
Some media reports of correlations should be interpreted with care. The reported correlation with dementia is less likely the result of a comorbidity and more likely the result of the care home situation. The correlations with diabetes and blood pressure are likely underestimates because the comorbidity itself is often undiagnosed. For example, 1 in 4 adults with high blood pressure are estimated to be unaware of their condition.
Despite such caveats, the direction is clear; cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity are comorbidities which significantly increase the risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.
The Vital Signs Employee Health Assessment from Work Wellness checks for all of these conditions amongst your workforce and will typically identify over 10% of employees with conditions severe enough to warrant immediate GP referral!
If the Vital Signs Assessment reveals that your employee has one or more of these conditions then our Specialist Practitioner will discuss and agree options such as; committing to positive lifestyle changes, accessing self-help resources, appropriate COVID-19 Secure precautions and onward referral for specialist treatments.
The goal of the Vital Signs Assessment is to gain employee commitment to positive lifestyle changes and a measure of success is an average 3.5 year improvement in employee heart age between annual follow-up assessments.
“I was made to feel at ease and relaxed. I was more informed and understood the results given along with advice to what lifestyle changes I could make to improve my wellbeing. The results were great and I would highly recommend anyone to attend a session…it could change your life!
Mike Ward. ZF Automotive
Vital Signs Assessments are conducted by qualified and experienced Occupational Health Specialist Practitioners. The accuracy of the measurement equipment is calibrated to laboratory standards. The health risk calculators are accredited by NICE for use in primary care situations and our expert system software which calculates employee heart ages is used throughout the NHS.
Vital Signs Assessments take an hour per employee and are conducted on your site, turning a private meeting room into a clinic for the day. However, during this period of social distancing we conduct 2 part Health Assessments. Part 1 conducted over the phone or video conference is the initial fact find and consultation. Part 2, when social distancing rules allow, is conducted on your site and is where we take biometric measurements (blood pressure, cholesterol, height, weight waist, blood oxygen) and complete the consultation.