Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Need a Boost, Survey Says

June 4, 2011
RheumatologyNetwork Staff

The Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine, The Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine Vol 28 No 6, Volume 28, Issue 6

Close to 70% of women who responded thought that the disease can be prevented, but only 50% recognized exercise as a method of osteoporosis prevention.

Most respondents to a survey about osteoporosis awareness and prevention indicated that they were aware of osteoporosis, its risk factors, and how to prevent the disease. However, just more than one-third of respondents indicated they had never heard of osteoporosis. Close to 70% of women who responded thought that the disease can be prevented, but only 50% recognized exercise as a method of osteoporosis prevention and only 27% thought that diet has an impact.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and Harris Interactive released the survey findings in May in honor of National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Noting that osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans-causing an estimated 2 million fractures each year and resulting in immobility, pain, and other health problems-the NOF emphasized the importance of increasing awareness and helping persons understand how to avoid the disease through proper prevention as well as understand the importance of diagnosis and treatment efforts.

The NOF is calling on all Americans to become more educated about osteoporosis to understand their risk factors and learn how to prevent the disease. Recommended actions include taking in enough calcium and vitamin D and performing bone-healthy exercise every day and talking to their physicians about when to obtain a bone density test.

Talking to family and friends also is recommended. Because it is never too early or too late to take steps to improve bone health, parents and grandparents are encouraged to have a conversation with their children and grandchildren.

For more information, visit the NOF Web site at http://www.nof.org. Or, contact the organization at National Osteoporosis Foundation, 1150 17th Street NW, Suite 850, Washington, DC 20036; telephone: (202) 223-2226 or (toll-free) (800) 231-4222; fax: (202) 223-2237.

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