Metabolic Syndrome & Health Checks

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- Metabolic Syndrome

Health  Checks With Work Place Health Insurance

Health  Checks With National Health Insurance

Other Medical Checks Available in Nagoya

Metabolic Syndrome メタボリック症

What is it?
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. In general, a person with metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as someone without metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is defined by the International Diabetes Federation as:

Central Obesity (*see below) – plus any two of the following:

  • - raised triglycerides** (over 150 mg/dl),
  • - reduced HDL-cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dl in men & less than 50 mg/dl in women)
  • - a raised blood pressure (systolic BP is 130 or higher, or diastolic BP is 85 or higher)
  • - a raised fasting blood sugar level (over 100 mg/dl)

** triglycerides are the main constituent of vegetable oil and animal fats.

- Central Obesity
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) definition of central obesity takes into account waist circumference with ethnicity and gender specific values.

For people of European, Sub-Saharan, and Middle Eastern origin – a waist circumference of 94cm or more for males, or 80cm or more for females indicates central obesity. For people of South & East Asian, ethnic South & Central American origin its 90cm or more for males, or 80cm or more for females.
However, if the BMI (body mass index) is greater than 30 central obesity can be assumed.

In Japan the JASSO standard is used and is slightly different from the IDF definition. With the JASSO definition central obesity is defined as having an abdominal circumference (around the navel) of 85cm or more for males, or 90cm or more for females.
Both National Health Insurance (kokumin kenkō hoken) and Work Place Health Insurance (shokuba kenkō hoken) provide health checks.
– If you hold National Health Insurance (国民健康保険) you may be eligible for a low cost “metabolic” health check.
– If you hold Work Place Health Insurance (職場健康保険) the “metabolic” health check is now part of the annual health check.

With Work Place Health Insurance

Basic Annual Physical Checkup 定期健康診断
By law (労働安全衛生規則 Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health – Article 44) an employer must provide a regularly employed worker (with some exceptions) with a medical examination by a physician as to the following check-items periodically once a year:

  • 1 Medical History Questionnaire
  • 2 Examination of the presence of subjective and objective symptoms
  • 3 Measurement of height, weight, waist, eyesight, and hearing (1000Hz & 4000Hz)
    Key Vocabulary:

    • 身長 shinchō – height
    • 体重 taijū – weight
    • 腹囲 fukui – waist measurement
    • 視力 shi-ryoku – eyesight
    • 聴力 chō-ryoku – hearing
  • 4 Chest x-ray or sputum examination
    • Key Vocabulary:
    • 喀痰 kakutan – sputum
  • 5 Blood pressure measurement
    • Key Vocabulary:
    • 血圧 ketsu-atsu – blood pressure
  • 6 Urine analysis
    • - tests for the presence of glycosuria and protein
    • Key Vocabulary:
    • 尿検 nyō-kensa – urine
    • 糖 tō – sugar (glycosuria)
    • 糖尿病 tōnyōbyō – diabetes
    • 蛋白 tanpaku – protein
  • 7 Anemia analysis
    • - checks the quantity of haemoglobin & number of red blood cells
    • Key Vocabulary:
    • 貧血 hinketsu = anemia
    • 血色素 kesshi-kiso = haemoglobin
    • 赤血球 = sekkekkyū = red blood cell
  • 8 Liver function tests
    • tests GOT (Glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase), GPT (glutamic-pyruvic transaminase), and gamma GTP level
    • Key Vocabulary: 肝 kan – liver
  • 9 Blood lipid inspection
    • tests LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and serum triglyceride – (LDL コレステロール, HDL コレステロール, TG)
    • LDL is known as ‘bad’ cholesterol
    • HDL is known as ‘good’ cholesterol
  • 10 Blood glucose analysis
    • test for hemoglobin A1c – (ヘモグロビンA1cでも可)
  • 11 Electrocardiogram inspection
    • Key Vocabulary:
    • 心電図 – Electrocardiogram (ECG) = shin-denzu

If an employee who does not desire to undergo the medical examination by the physician designated by the employer, they can submit a document to the employer to certify the findings that they have undergone a medical examination by another physician equivalent to the medical examination.

The employee will receive the results of the medical examination from the employer and the employer is obliged to keep a copy of the results for five years. (Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health – Article 51)

If you would like to have a more thorough annual physical done, many clinics offer what is called a ningen-dokku 人間ドック (basically meaning human dry-dock). However, the ningen-dokku usually isn’t covered by National Health Insurance and can take from an hour or two, to an overnight visit, depending on the checks you want to take. Many employers also offer additional optional health checks (at an additional cost) for stomach, colon, cervical, and breast cancer.

With National Health Insurance

Metabolic Syndrome Medical Examination 国民健康保険の特定健康診査
From April 2008, the current basic adult health checks and citizens’ physical examinations undertaken by the City of Nagoya were replaced by a new system of physical examinations and health care guidance to help check for signs of metabolic syndrome.

  • Eligibility: People aged from 40 to 75 years old who have enrolled in National Health Insurance (国民健康保険) before October 1, 2009. The medical examination is available until March 31, 2010. If you are eligible, you should have received a letter and a coupon from your local ward office / city hall.
  • Cost: Free (For Nagoya City residents) – small cost may apply depending on the municipality
  • Where to go: Tests are available at certain designated clinics and general hospitals in Nagoya.
    If you need the coupon to be re-issued call the Nagoya City Health & Welfare Office健康福祉局保険年金課 at 052-972-2567.

if you’re not confident in Japanese over the phone use our toriohon service. Torio-hon makes a 3-way call possible between you, a NIC intepreter, and a local government service. The Torio-hon Service is available Tuesday through Friday 09:00 -17:00 in English. You can call the NIC on Torio-hon at 052-581-6112.

■What they check – (for Japanese terms see “Work Place Health Insurance” health check)

  • 1. Interview
  • 2. Consultation
  • 3. Height, weight, and waist, measurement Blood Pressure Measurement
  • 4. Urine Analysis – tests for the presence of glycosuria and protein (尿糖、尿蛋白)
  • 5. Anemia Analysis (haemoglobin & red blood cells) & Blood lipid inspection (cholesterol check)
  • 6. Blood glucose analysis 血糖検査[ヘモグロビンA1c・血糖]、
  • 7. Liver function tests ( GOT, GPT, and gamma GPT)

■Items Required

  • 1. Specified Medical Examination Coupon – sent to eligible insurance holders受診券
  • 2. National health insurance certificate国民健康保険証
  • 3. Nursing Care Insurance Certificate (for those over 65 only ) 介護保険証(65歳以の方のみ)

Other Medical Checks Available in Nagoya
Apart from the metabolic syndrome orientated health check, local municipalities also offer a range of other “low cost” health checks.

You can obtain these medical checkups at Public Health Centers and affiliated hospitals. For Nagoya, the schedule for medical checkups is announced in Nagoya City’s newsletter Koho Nagoya広報なごや, which is distributed to all households monthly. If the designated dates are inconvenient, you can obtain a medical checkup at an affiliated hospital. The details of the checkup and fees are the same.

Examination Target Group Fee (Yen)
At a Municipal Health Center At a Private Hospital
HIV General public (Anonymous) Free N/A
Stomach Cancer (i-gan胃がん) - aged 40 + 900 2900
Colon Cancer (dai-cho-gan大腸がん) - aged 40 + 500
Lung Cancer (hai-gan 肺がん) & TB Test (kekkaku結核) - aged 40 + N/A 500 or 1,200
Cervical Cancer (shikyū-gan 子宮がん) Women – aged 20 + N/A 1700 or 2700
Breast Cancer (nyū-gan 乳がん) Women – aged 40 + Age: 40 to 49  1,800
Age: 50 and above 1,300

* Note: This information was current at the time it was published. For the latest information and details, please feel free to contact us.


To learn more about the Nagoya International Center,
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