Osteoporosis Learning Series Wrap-Up

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: May 26, 2010

The following article is brought to you by our June sponsor, Reclast.

For the last 6 months, you’ve learned the ins and outs of caring for your bones- from proper nutrition, exercise, to avoiding alcohol and tobacco and even some handy osteoporosis fashion tips. Research has shown that there is a direct relationship between the lack of estrogen after menopause and the development of osteoporosis. Early menopause (before age 45) and any prolonged periods in which hormone levels are low and menstrual periods are absent or infrequent can cause loss of bone mass.That is why it is so important for all women, particularly menopausal and postmenopausal women, to get knowledgeable about their bone health.

According to a nationwide survey conducted by Harris Interactive of over 1,000 women with postmenopausal osteoporosis, more than half said they are not knowledgeable about osteoporosis despite being diagnosed with this potentially serious disease. The survey also found that women who considered themselves knowledgeable about postmenopausal osteoporosis were the most likely to take good care of their bone health, putting a higher priority on physical activity and diet, as well as taking doctor-prescribed medications.

Also, although there are effective prescription treatment options for postmenopausal osteoporosis, the nationwide survey found that about one in three respondents (30 percent) had not currently been prescribed medication despite being diagnosed with the condition. 

To help women learn the essentials of proper bone heath and the steps they can take to help avoid fractures, Pam Peeke, MD, internationally renowned women’s health expert and author of the best seller, Fit to Live, has joined forces with the American’s Women’s Medical Association (AMWA) to launch Strong to the Bone, a nationwide awareness campaign sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.  The campaign website (www.strongtothebone.com) includes a five-minute assessment to help evaluate women’s personal osteoporosis risk and provides recommendations for better bone health. 

“Women should take the online osteoporosis assessment to empower themselves with information that can help them keep their bones strong,” said Dr. Peeke, author of the bestselling book, Fit to Live. “They should then use this knowledge to speak to their healthcare professional about a personalized treatment plan that may work best for them. There are postmenopausal osteoporosis treatments that can help to manage the condition effectively.”

We hope you’ve found this Osteoporosis Learning Series helpful and informative. To keep you on track, print out these handy bone health tips below and visit www.strongtothebone.com to assess your personal osteoporosis risk (and be sure to share your results with your doctor).

Tips for Strong Bones

  • Get enough calcium. Dairy products (low-fat or non-fat milk, yogurt, cheese), calcium-enriched products, broccoli, leafy green vegetables and almonds are all excellent sources of calcium. Multivitamins or a calcium supplement are other sources to consider.
  • Vitamin D is a definite. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Fortified milk products, liver, fatty fish and egg yolks are excellent sources. Also consider taking a multivitamin or vitamin D supplement.
  • Exercise is key. Put your bones to work with weight-bearing and resistance exercises. Think walking, dancing and playing tennis.
  • Break the habit. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption will weaken your bones.
  • Protect yourself from falls. Check home lighting, wear shoes with non-slip or rubber soles and consider balance exercises such as yoga or tai chi.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider. Learn about bone health and find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis. You may be asked to take a bone mineral density (BMD) test, which can be used to assess the need for treatment. Remember to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

For additional tips, visit www.strongtothebone.com.

About the Survey
The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in partnership with the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), a leading national advocate for women’s health made up of more than 3,500 female physicians. The survey was conducted online between February 28 and March 10, 2008.  Of the 3,563 invitations delivered, a total of 1,539 responses were received, resulting in a 43% participation rate. Among those who responded, 1,010 completed surveys were received from respondents who met the screening criteria of being a U.S. postmenopausal woman aged 55+ diagnosed with osteoporosis.  The data have been weighted to reflect age, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. The data include women from urban (29 percent), suburban (39 percent) and rural (32 percent) locales as well as from every region of the country.

References

National Osteoporosis Foundation. Fast Facts on Osteoporosis Brochure. February 2008.

National Osteoporosis Foundation. Bone Tool Kit. 2007.

National Osteoporosis Foundation. Beat the Break: Home Safety Checklist. 2006.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and Osteoporosis –Fact Sheet, 2004.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Survey. Harris Interactive Inc. June  2008.

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