Men's Health Fair draws 600

ALBANY -- It is a part of our culture -- men don't need any stinking health tests, they are tough guys.

Not so, said Darrell Sabbs, the organizer of Saturday's Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Men's Health Fair at Phoebe HealthWorks on the 300 block of Third Avenue.

It is no accident that the health fair falls on the day before Father's day, Sabbs said.

"Because we don't take care of ourselves men die earlier than women in America. Male behaviors like smoking, drinking, overeating and lack of exercise lead to early death. It is not fair to leave our wives widows," Sabbs said.

"We are trying to get the message out that men have to take care of themselves. Healthy fathers make for healthy families."

The free ninth annual health fair is a part of a national Men's Health Week, Sabbs said.

Judging from the outstaanding turnout at 9:30 a.m. hundreds of area men were ready to get with the healthy program.

One of the longest lines at the fair was for a free osteoporosis exam.

Osteoporosis is usually thought of as a bone weakening disease that strikes one out of two women.

It also strikes one out of five men and weakens bones so that they can easily break, a handout at the fair stated.

Jack Bailey, 54, of Albany sat down to have his bone density checked by Megan Barr, a wellness coordinator for the SOWEGA Council on aging.

His numbers showed a little weakening of his bones.

"I think I'm going to have to get some vitamins with calcium in them," Bailey said. "This fair is really great. I can get tests done here for free that would cost more than $200 elsewhere."

Another test offered at the fair included an Angioscreen, a non-invasive exam that tests heart rhythm, blood pressure and blood flow through the vascular system.

This test could help prevent heart attacks or strokes and is normally $60 for seniors.

Other tests at the fair screened for diabetes, cholesterol and prostate cancer.

"Early detection is the best protection," Sabbs said. "We men need that."