The American Red Cross will kick off Health Fair 2013 on Tuesday, February 26 at Brookwood Baptist Church, located on 9014 Brookwood Church Way in Shreveport.

From 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. a range of life-saving diagnostic tests and services -- from complete blood work batteries and prostate cancer screening tests (PSAs) to colorectal cancer screens and pneumonia vaccines -- will be offered.

Within those blood work tests are some numbers that are vital to keeping an eye on your heart health. The most well known, of course, is your cholesterol level.

Health Fair tests give participants a breakdown of their HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol numbers, as well as a ratio, called a Coronary Risk Assessment.  This ratio calculates your HDL and LDL and puts them in an easy to understand average risk rating. For example, a 62 year-old female, with a 187 total cholesterol, an HDL of 44, and an LDL of 82, may have a ratio of 4.3, which translates into a 0.9 times the average risk for heart disease.

Health Fair tests also measure other good heart health indicators, such as triglyceride levels (the most common type of fat in the body), as well as indicators of other conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity, which significantly increase an individual’s likelihood of suffering from heart disease.

Health Fair, presented four times a year by the Northwest Chapter of the American Red Cross, is based on a simple fact: the more you know about your health, the longer you are likely to live and the healthier you can be.

“This event continues to be well-attended because the atmosphere is casual, friendly and non-clinical,” says American Red Cross Executive Director Reid Brau. “We are seeing a wider range of ages because of the public’s increasing awareness of health complications that can appear at basically any time.”

Services and prices include:

Multi-Chemistry, CBC, Lipid & Thyroid Profiles - $40

A test that evaluates cholesterol levels and blood sugar, with additional tests, including lipid, liver and thyroid functions, among others.

Multi-Chemistry, CBC, Lipid & Thyroid Profiles with PSA - $50

This test is the same as the first test, except it includes a prostate cancer screen for men.

ColoCARE Colorectal Cancer Screen - $5

This is a take-home test that requires no processing or handling and is a great indicator for potential problems.

Pneumonia Vaccine – $30

A fast of twelve hours is recommended prior to testing (water is okay), and a stamp, or 46 cents to purchase one, is needed to receive test results. Brau says the event presents a win-win situation.

“If you find out you’re in perfect health, there is tremendous peace of mind; if you have risk factors for something like diabetes or heart disease, it’s best to know now so you can make preventative changes to your lifestyle; and if you do have something serious, you may well be catching it in time for treatment," says Brau.

Health Fair 2013 is sponsored by Regional Urology, NSU College of Nursing, Brookwood Baptist Church, Nexion and Medic Pharmacy.

For more information about Health Fair or other Red Cross programs, call the Northwest Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross at (318) 865-9545 or visit their official website.

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