ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
CANCER
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating your way to Good Health
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
Eating in America Still Unhealthy
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Air Pollution Exposure May Slow Fetal Growth
EYE CARE, VISION
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
FITNESS
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Reminiscing Helps Build Emotional Strength
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Obese People Seem to Do Better With Heart Disease
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Coconut Oil May Help Fight Childhood Pneumonia
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Drink Away Dementia?
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
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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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