ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
Vitamin K Doesn't Slow Bone Loss
CANCER
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
DIET, NUTRITION
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Global Warming Biggest Health Threat of 21st Century, Experts Say
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
EYE CARE, VISION
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Thyroid Problems Boost Glaucoma Risk
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
FITNESS
Football Can Shrink Players
Brisk Walk Can Help Leave Common Cold Behind
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Sleep and Do Better
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Add your Article

Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk

MONDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A new large global survey reveals that more than half of women who suffer from osteoporosis do not perceive themselves to be at a higher risk for experiencing a fracture.

The international team of researchers noted that this apparent lack of concern about the potential for developing a debilitating or even life-threatening fracture flies in the face of estimates that suggest that one in two women over the age of 50 will ultimately go on to experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.

"It's very frustrating," said study co-author Dr. Ethel S. Siris, a professor of clinical medicine in the division of endocrinology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "Despite the fact that awareness of osteoporosis itself has increased lately, many of these women just don't get it. Not just in the U.S., but all over the world. Either because we haven't gotten the message across adequately, or because people simply do not want to hear it."

"But the fact is," she added, "that fracture risk goes way up among women with osteoporosis, and fracturing your vertebrae or hip, for example, is a very serious business. So, women simply need more education about it, not because we want to frighten them but because we want to empower them. Because the good news is, there are things -- lifestyle choices, medications -- that one can do to lower risk."

Siris and her colleagues were expected to present their findings Monday at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research meeting, in Montreal.

The authors noted the study was funded, in part, by an "unrestricted educational grant" with ties to the drug companies Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, as well as Sanofi-Aventis.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about 55 percent of Americans over the age of 55 are at risk for developing osteoporosis, a bone-weakening disease defined by the deterioration of bone tissue and low bone mass.

Currently, about 8 million women and 2 million men in the United States have osteoporosis, reflecting the way in which the disease disproportionately strikes women.

Those numbers suggest that the ensuing bone fragility means that one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 will ultimately develop a disease-related fracture down the road -- usually in the hip, spine, wrist regions. And an initial fracture, in turn, raises the risk for more.

Disease risk is highest among older women, those with a family history of the disease, small and/or thin individuals, those with a history of broken bones, those with a sedentary lifestyle, smokers and excessive drinkers, and those with relatively low sex hormones (namely, estrogen and testosterone).

Efforts to prevent disease onset are based on maintaining an adequate supply of calcium and vitamin D; getting sufficient exercise; avoiding cigarettes and alcohol; and, in some cases, medications.

The current effort to take the pulse of patient perceptions among osteoporotic women around the world involved more than 60,000 non-institutionalized women over the age 55 who had visited their primary health-care physician in the two years leading up to the study at one of 17 health-care facilities located across 10 countries, including the United States, Canada, several European nations, and Australia.

A little more than 11,000 women had osteoporosis, while the others did not. All completed questionnaires regarding their physical and mental health status, as well as their history of fractures.

The researchers found that 55 percent of women diagnosed with osteoporosis did not believe they ran a higher risk for fractures than women not diagnosed with the disease.

Dr. Mone Zaidi, director of the Mount Sinai Bone Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, said the study rings serious alarm bells.

"It's a complicated subject, but basically, at age 55, all women start to lose bone, whether or not they're osteoporotic," he noted. "It's a very critical time in a woman's life that requires that women and physicians actively look to identify the loss and the degree of the problem. And certainly, if women have the disease as well, and they're 55 or older, the risk for fracture is even more pronounced. So, as a public health issue, this finding is very concerning."

-Alan Mozes

More information

For more on osteoporosis and fracture risk, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation.



SOURCES: Ethel S. Siris, M.D., professor, clinical medicine, division of endocrinology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; Mone Zaidi, M.D., professor, medicine and physiology, and director, Mount Sinai Bone Program, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; Sept. 15, 2008, presentation, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research meeting, Montreal

Last Updated: Sept. 15, 2008

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