Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge will be holding a Men’s Fair: Kick Off For Better Health event on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 7:30-11:30 a.m. at the Foothills Higher Education Center, where free health screenings and community resources will help bring more awareness to better overall health habits for men.

This will be the Fourth annual Men’s Fair for Better Health. According to a Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge event newsletter video, the Kick Off For Better Health name comes from the theme of this year’s event – “something near and dear to most men” – football.

Kelly Schermerhorn, who is with Carolinas HealthCare System corporate communications and marketing and outreach, said more than 300 men attended last year’s health fair.

“The Men’s Fair brings awareness to overall wellness – from diet to exercise through cholesterol and blood pressure screenings to behavioral habits through skin cancer screenings,” she said.

More than 60 vendors will be participating in the event and will offer various types of information, health screenings and men-related activities and items, such as firearms safety and outdoor sports giveaways. Some vendors will include Foothills Self Defense, Wildlife Game Club, the Burke County Sheriff’s Department, Morganton Public Safety and the Burke County Health Department.

To help address the growing issue of those at-risk or suffering from diabetes, Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge will offer pre-diabetes screenings during the health fair as part of their continuous efforts to raise awareness and aid in the fight against the disease.

Type 2 diabetes complications are ultimately very serious, Schermerhorn said.

“Type 2 diabetes is preventable, and the kind that adults usually get due to a combination of genetics and lifestyle,” she said. “Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, stroke and heart attack.”

According to the Joslin Diabetes Center’s website, pre-diabetes is defined as “a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as full-blown diabetes. Those with pre-diabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes within a decade unless they adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes weight loss and more physical activity.”

An estimated one of every three adults in the United States had pre-diabetes in the year 2010, and 35 percent of adults 20 years and older have pre-diabetes, according to statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Schermerhorn said these screenings are important for people to have done and be aware of, since pre-diabetes is a warning sign of diabetes.

“A very simple blood test can tell you if you have it,” she said. “If you have pre-diabetes, you can make the lifestyle changes necessary to reverse your risk and prevent diabetes before it ever progresses to that point. Small changes in your daily habits can make big differences when it comes your health.”

Schermerhorn said several screenings will be offered this year, including lipid panel, hemoglobin A1c, blood pressure, skin cancer, lung health, ankle brachial index, Prostate Specific Antigen Blood Test, Diabetes Risk and bone density.

Schermerhorn said they are aiming to reach even more men during this year’s event than in previous years.

“We’re proud of the success we’ve seen so far,” she said. “We’ve delivered more than 1,000 screenings to men at the health fair last year. Our success has been exciting, but we know we can reach even more people as we strive to build a healthier community.”

Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge also holds a Lady’s Fair event in the spring.

For more information, call 828-580-6220.

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