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Event will offer health screenings, information

"Men lose bone mass, too," health fair organizer Dot Cofer said Monday. Her comment drew a chuckle from Thomson Kiwanis members, meeting at The Depot.

She encouraged everyone to take advantage of health screenings available from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the 34th annual McDuffie County Health Fair at Thomson High School.

"I'm really excited this year that we have Doc Bowman, who helped save my life about 5 and a half weeks ago," Cofer said.

Cofer, who suffered a heart attack during planning for the health fair, says Dr. Mac Bowman, an Augusta cardiologist, was on the team that helped her recover.

Bowman will be at Saturday's event to discuss women's heart health. Cofer stressed that women's heart attack symptoms differ from those exhibited by men. She encouraged women to visit Bowman's booth and ask questions.

"This year, we will have some 17 tests and screenings, and over 35 educational exhibits," Cofer said in a news release.

Someone will win $100 in a drawing by visiting at least 15 exhibits, according to the news release.

Kiwanis President Jay Poston thanked Cofer for her comments.

"There's no telling how many lives have been saved over the years by the health fair," he said.

Cofer, who began organizing the event when she was with the county extension service, added that it also has saved McDuffie County residents and others on their medical bills.

Last year, visitors came from as far away as Sparta, Louisville, Washington, Lincolntown, Loganville, Sandersville, Greensboro, Athens and McCormick, Ga., and Aiken, she said.

Free tests include blood pressure, height, weight, lung function, bone density, hearing, skin cancer, vision, glaucoma and depression. "Those wishing the bone density test should wear removable socks or knee hosiery, no pantyhose," Cofer wrote.

She said most people assume that only women lose calcium as they age, but that is not true. "Men should also have this test, for they also lose calcium and have weaker bones with age," she said.

Cofer said those who plan to have blood tests should not eat for eight to 12 hours before the test.

More details are included in fliers posted around Thomson.

Web posted on Thursday, April 14, 2011

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