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Wal-Mart to offer free blood sugar test

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BENTONVILLE, Ark., Sep 01, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Next Saturday Wal-Mart will provide free blood glucose tests in all of its 2,900 U.S. stores to test for diabetes.

"No one has ever done a nationwide free health screening on this scale before -- 400,000 to 600,000 people are expected to be treated," said Matt Lucas, who works on the Wal-Mart account for Novelties Consumer Health of Parsippany, N.J., a division of Novartis AG.

Certified health screeners will administer the pin-prick test on the finger or arm on Sept. 6 using a home-testing kit that takes two minutes to administer, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Those with elevated readings will be advised to visit their physician. The test usually costs between $15 and $30, said Bob Edens, chief financial officer of Interfit, a Houston company that is staffing the event.

Depending on how well the health screening test is received, the Bentonville, Ark.-based chain said it will consider future company-wide screenings, perhaps for osteoporosis and cholesterol.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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