National Urban League and Walgreens “Take Care Health Tour” visits SC State

Thursday, November 6, 2008

In an effort to promote better health in urban communities across the country, the National Urban League and Walgreens Take Care Health Tour has partnered to provide free health screenings on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008 at the K.W. Green Student Center on the campus of SC State.

The National Urban League and Walgreens Take Care Health Tour will visit 22 urban communities across the country as part of an 11 month mobile health campaign and health screening tour. The tour’s 38-foot customized educational health screening bus features six free screenings, worth more than $115 in value. All services take place inside the customized vehicle and include screenings for blood pressure, bone density, glucose levels, cholesterol levels, waist circumference and body mass index.

People in urban communities, particularly minorities, experience disproportionately higher rates of preventable disease. Many diseases can be detected through screenings long before any symptoms are notice, making awareness the key to remaining healthy.

The national Urban League’s State of Black America 2007 reports that blacks are impacted by higher rates of obesity, substance abuse and diabetes.

• Glucose Screenings: this is the form of sugar that is in the body’s primary fuel which is glucose broken down from food that can be converted into energy or stored as fat. Blood glucose levels nay indicate risk for diabetes, a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy;

• Blood Pressure Screenings: high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious condition affecting one in three American adults. High Blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S.;

• Bone Density Screening: Osteoporosis is a disease that lowly thins and weakens bones. Ten Million Americans are estimated to have the disease, and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass. Bone density testing is the best way to determine bone mass and reveal present and future risk of fracture;

• Body Mass Index (BMI): an estimated 30 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 years and older- over 60 million people are obese, defined as having a body mass index of 30 or higher. Body Fat, not weight, is the better measure of one’s health and fitness;

• Waist Circumference: Waist circumference is a horizontal measurement of the abdomen above the upper hip bone. It can be useful for those people categorized as normal or overweight in terms of BMI. High waist circumference is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease when the BMI is between 25 and 34.9;

For more information about the National Urban League and Walgreen’s Take Care Health Tour, contact Pinkey Carter, nurse administrator, for Brooks Health Center at (803)536-7055.