Saturday, January 11, 2014

NBC Washington Health Fair offers amateur sports, and a few new medical issues relatively little known (like Marfan Syndrome)

The NBC4 (NBC Washington) Health and Fitness Expo in the Washington DC convention center was indeed packed.  The link for the event is here.

The exhibits were similar to what I have seen before.  There were pavilions for amateur sports (soccer, tennis, golf, lacrosse), blood donation, all kinds of screening.  There was a virtual tour of the inside of coronary arteries. 

Many screening tests were offered, such as prostate, blood numbers and kidney function. Yes, "it's free". 

A couple of newer items caught my attention.  One was the “Military Civilian Compound”, an obstacle course that resembled elements of the Basic Training PCPT (Physical Combat Proficiency Test), although in 1968 we didn’t have to climb over obstacles. 

Another was a drag skyline that could be ridden, like a human gondola.

There was a new booth on Marfan Syndrome.  I wasn’t aware that it can be mild and remain undiagnosed.  It is possible that it could explain some issues with me, but I would think that aortic murmurs and other abnormalities would have shown up in routine physicals.  But the sunken chest, heart palpitations, and tendency for limbs to be colder than they should be sometimes could be symptoms.  It does not always significantly reduces life expectancy (at least to average norms) like it once did, but Jonathan Larson, composer of "Rent" died of an aneurysm from it in 1996, at 35.  It can be associated with eye disorders and sudden retina detachments.  Sudden aortic rupture or aneurysm is possible.  I wonder if it could explain sub-par physical performance in youth or young adulthood. Here is an article on its remaining undiagnosed. 

One other thing.  A volunteer couple was trying to sign up people for Obamacare outside the Convention Center, near the Yellow Line Metro.  I told the person my Medicare and Supplemental had remain unchanged. 
Note also the DC Exchange. 

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