ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
CANCER
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
CAREGIVING
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show
Population-Based Strategy Urged to Cut U.S. Obesity Rate
EYE CARE, VISION
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
FITNESS
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cherry-Enriched Diet Cut Heart Risks in Rats
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
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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