Glossary of Terms

Blood glucose
Blood glucose is a measurement of sugar in the blood.
Blood pressure
Blood pressure is the pressure of blood in your arteries – the tubes that carry your blood from your heart to your brain and the rest of your body. The first (or top) number represents the highest level your blood pressure reaches when your heart beats and pumps blood into your arteries – your systolic blood pressure. The second (or bottom) number represents the lowest level your blood pressure reaches as your heart relaxes between beats – your diastolicblood pressure.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
This is used to determine how healthy a person’s weight is and is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared.
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat (sometimes called a lipid) that is essential for life. The majority of cholesterol does not come from the food we eat but is made by our own body in the liver. It is widely used to build cells and make other vital substances.
DEXA scan
This procedure is used to measure the total and regional fat in your body. It involves exposure to a very small amount of radiation (about 1/10th of the amount of a normal chest X-ray) and involves you lying on a large bench, while the scanner passes over you. It takes about 7-12 minutes to complete.
Genotype
A person’s unique genetic blueprint.
Genome-wide association studies
This process involves scanning markers across the DNA of a person’s entire genome or genetic makeup. This is done to find genetic variations that may be associated with a particular disease.
Phenotype
What a person looks like e.g. the observable characteristics like hair colour, eye colour, weight, or the presence or absence of a disease.
Triglycerides
Triglycerides is another fat (lipid) and can be produced in the liver and by the body’s fat stores.