AVH Health Fair returns this weekend | AspenTimes.com

AVH Health Fair returns this weekend

ASPEN For the second year in a row, popularity has prompted officials to spread Aspen Valley Hospital’s Spring Health Fair over two days, June 2-3.Sunday will be the day for comprehensive health checkups. Officials announced Thursday that those just to have their blood drawn and analyzed can take advantage of an “early blood draw” on Saturday.The event runs from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. both days.”The Health Fair is big enough to warrant a two-day event … one day [Sunday] with the blood draw and other screenings, and one day [Saturday] with just the blood draw,” said Ginny Dyche, director of community relations for the hospital. “Our goal is to make the fair a better experience for everyone. Many participants opt for the blood draw only, so Saturday is a great option for them.” Blood tests both days include a laboratory profile with complete blood count for $46, prostate-specific antigen for $27, and a cardio C-reactive protein for $35.Other low-cost screenings – Sunday only – include a $25 peripheral bone density screening, $5 colorectal cancer kits, $10 tetanus boosters and $50 tetanus/pertussis vaccines.Free screenings – available only Sunday – include airflow and oximetry, blood pressure, glaucoma/vision, hearing, height/weight and body mass index, knee exams (wear shorts), oral cancer screening, skin exams, vision and waist-hip ratio. The waist-hip ratio involves a simple measurement – converted into a ratio – which conveys a prediction of cardiovascular risk.The lab profile requires fasting for 12 hours (water consumption is allowed) and tests liver and kidney function, glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL, and thyroid stimulating hormone. Diabetics should contact their physician regarding fasting.The complete blood count measures white and red blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin and hematocrit. The cardio C-reactive protein blood test measures small levels of inflammation, now recognized as an early indication of future risk for heart attack and stroke. However, officials cautioned that any type of inflammation in the body including tissue injury, infections, being overweight, or smoking, can affect the test results.The prostate-specific antigen is available for men 45 and older, and the hospital noted in a statement that the PSA is only one aspect of prostate cancer screening. A digital rectal exam is also required and is not available at the Health Fair.A variety of information stations also are part of Sunday at the fair, including a dietitian and diabetes educator who will discuss nutrition and answer questions about diabetes and its precursor, metabolic syndrome.There will be drawings for free bike helmets at a “trauma prevention station,” and infectious disease specialists will discuss preparations for pandemic flu.For additional information about the health fair, call the hospital at 544-1296.John Colson’s e-mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com

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