HEALTH

Walgreens, AARP join forces to provide free health screenings in nationwide tour

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Walgreens and AARP are embarking on a two-year, national mobile health screening tour in an effort to provide more than $60 million worth of free health screenings.

This marks the fifth year Walgreens has committed to providing free health screenings via a traveling health screening campaign.

This year’s initiative, which aims to administer more than 2.5 million free screenings, kicks off in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza and for the next two years will hold screening events in more than 3,000 communities nationwide and Puerto Rico. The screenings include total cholesterol levels, blood pressure, bone density, glucose levels, waist circumference and body mass index.

The AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour is comprised of nine custom-equipped buses with a staff of Walgreens’ trained medical technicians. The buses will travel separate routes canvassing the country and will spend several days in designated cities providing free services at local events, community centers, Walgreens store locations and other select locations with a special emphasis on underserved communities. Results are instantly provided and consumers are encouraged to visit a doctor or healthcare provider to discuss them. Visitors also have access to free educational information on a variety of health-and-wellness issues that are available in both English and Spanish.

“During previous tours, I witnessed how these free screenings can be a life-saving resource. We’re proud to carry on that tradition,” stated Greg Wasson, Walgreens president and CEO. “Joining with AARP for our renewed effort is perfect because of its dedication to improving lives and offering greater access to health resources, particularly among those most in need. Together, we can tap into our strong community networks to make sure the tour reaches the people who need us most.”

Of those screened in 2008:

  • 72.8% had high blood pressure levels
  • 68.2% had high body mass index
  • 65.9% had low bone density
  • 60.5% had a waist circumference outside of the normal range
  • 38% had high cholesterol levels
  • 13.3% had high glucose levels.

For more information, customers can call (866)-484-8687 or visit www.aarpwalgreens.com/tour.

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Nick Jonas, Bayer Diabetes Care launch contest to encourage kids with diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. Bayer Diabetes Care and music sensation Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers are inviting kids and teens with diabetes to enter the Bayer “Express Your Simple Win Creativity Contest” online for a chance to meet the singer in person.

Since the announcement of their partnership last summer, Bayer Diabetes Care and Jonas, who has Type 1 diabetes and uses the Bayer Contour meter, have taken steps to inspire young people with diabetes to achieve Simple Wins: small, everyday victories for managing diabetes that can lead to big differences over time.

Nick’s Simple Wins are writing lyrics, performing and making music. One example of how he was able to creatively express this was through his song about living with diabetes, “A Little Bit Longer.” Now he wants to encourage other young people with diabetes to share their creativity and their own personal Simple Wins through the Bayer “Express Your Simple Win Creativity Contest.”

“With this contest, I hope people are inspired by others’ entries, as well as encouraged to submit and share their own, but most of all, I hope that everyone has fun with it,” Jonas said. “Diabetes can be hard to live with, but when you manage it well, you can still do the things you love most in the world.”

To enter the Bayer “Express Your Simple Win Creativity Contest,” young people with diabetes between the ages of 6 and 18 are asked to record a 15-30 second video that demonstrates their Simple Win in an artistic way. The personal video submission can be a visual demonstration of original song lyrics, photography, painting/drawing, acting or another form of creativity. Once the video is complete, entrants can go to www.NicksSimpleWins.com and upload and complete the eligibility criteria to enter the contest.

During the last week of each month from April through September, the top three videos will be posted on www.NicksSimpleWins.com and the public will vote on the best one, which will be announced at the end of the month. Each monthly winner will win a prize and be eligible for the Grand Prize drawing. In October, following the end of the contest, the top three favorite videos will be picked by a team of judges and those entrants will get to meet Nick in person.

Each of the Grand Prize winners and a guest of the Bayer “Express Your Simple Win Creativity Contest” will meet Nick Jonas in person at a future date and place. All monthly winners will be required to provide a letter from a physician confirming winner’s diagnosis of diabetes.

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Fat-rich diet may reduce epileptic seizures, according to study

BY Alaric DeArment

MILWAUKEE Most parents would not let their children eat a lot of whipping cream, vegetable oil and butter, but a new study shows that diet rich in those might benefit children with epilepsy.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and appearing in the November issue of the journal Epileptica, indicates that a ketogenic diet might limit seizures.

According to a recent study of 43 patients at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin that has yet to be published, the approach has been effective. But, the researchers cautioned, the diet would require close supervision by healthcare professionals.

“This diet cannot be tried by parents without close medical management and follow-up,” lead study author and MWC professor of pediatrics Mary Zupanc said.

Of the children who started on the ketogenic diet between 2002 and 2006, half had a reduction in seizure frequency by more than 90% and had improved brain functioning. Most of the children who responded to the diet had either the most common form of epilepsy or a severe form called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

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