Date: May 1st, 2008
Osteoporosis, also known as porous bone disease, is a silent disease; often the first symptom is a broken bone. It poses a serious risk to older, post-menopausal women, although men can develop the disease also. Ten million Americans have osteoporosis, and 34 million suffer from osteopenia or low bone mass, which increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. The aging of the baby boomer generation will boost these numbers to 52 million by 2010.
Women have an opportunity to hear from other women living with osteoporosis in the "Standing Strong: Preventing & Treating Osteoporosis" video, part of an educational outreach kit developed by the Alliance for Aging Research.
“Osteoporosis is a serious disease that affects millions of older women,” said Daniel Perry, executive director of the Alliance. “These women risk fractures of the spine, hip and other bones, causing pain and impaired mobility, and which can lead to loss of independence, or even death.”
Risk factors include a family history of osteoporosis, being thin or small-framed, a diet low in calcium and vitamin D, smoking, and an inactive lifestyle.
Women Share their Stories
“I thought it was something that wouldn’t happen at my age,” says Dee Suarez, who was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2007 at the age of 42.
“I was lucky not to have fallen down. I should have checked on it sooner,” says Patte Dee McKee, age 71, whose mother and grandmother both had the disease. She was diagnosed three years ago at age 68.
Both women are featured in the video along with Dr. John Kaufman, an expert on the disease, who says, “The goal of all treatment is to prevent a fracture.” A woman’s risk of hip fracture from osteoporosis is the same as her combined risk of getting breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. In fact, one in three American women will have a spinal fracture due to the disease and one in six will fracture her hip. Osteoporosis results in more than 1.5 million fractures each year which cost $18 billion for direct care.
Online Treatment Quiz
The Alliance also offers a new online quiz that lets women who have osteoporosis see how well they are doing with their treatment. Individuals receive the results of the quiz immediately, accompanied by tips about what they can do to take charge of their bone health. Women can print out their results and discuss them with their health care professional. Effective communication between women and their health care professionals is a key factor in improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.
The video includes helpful information on preventing and treating osteoporosis, as well as managing the disease and living a full and healthy life. The video looks at the risk factors, diagnosis by bone density testing, and prevention and treatment through diet, exercise and drug therapy.
For more information about prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, visit the following websites: