Home > What we do > US Initiatives > Health & Wellness > May is "National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month"

May is "National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month"

Facts:

  • Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak and can break from a minor fall or simple action such as sneezing
  • An estimated 10 million Americans are diagnosed with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women
  • 85-90% of adult bone mass is acquired by age 18 in girls and 20 in boys.

Hadassah's Role

In the United States: educate our members as well as the community about osteoporosis and preventive measures. Advocate for legislative measures to expand medical research and ensure insurance coverage for bone density testing.

In Israel: the Minerva Center for Calcium and Bone Metabolism at Hadassah Hospital, researching new treatments for osteoporosis. The Hadassah Jerusalem Osteoporosis Center operates two highly advanced DEXA densitometers, an experimental ultrasonic device and runs 3-times a week in the outpatient consultation clinic. Patients with complex skeletal diseases are admitted to the Hospital for further work-up

Risk Factors:

  • Family history of osteoporosis or broken bones
  • Older age
  • Female
  • Small, thin frame
  • Low sex hormones
    • Menopause or amenorrhea in women
    • Low testosterone and estrogen in men
  • Smoking—the nicotine and toxins in cigarettes damage overall health and destroy the bone-building cells in the body.

Prevention:

  • Maintain a balanced diet with the daily recommended amounts of calcium AND vitamin D. Studies have shown an increased risk of heart attacks when calcium is taken without Vitamin D
  • Engage in regular weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercise
  • Reduce alcohol intake and avoid smoking
  • Speak to your physician about osteoporosis and bone density testing
  • a painless, non-invasive way to measure bone mass

Research at Hadassah:

  • Hadassah is studying the mechanisms of bone loss in mouse and rodent models of inflammatory bowel disease and biliary cirrhosis
  • In a separate project Hadassah is studying the association between sequence variants in genes encoding for key proteins in bone such as the vitamin D receptor and estrogen receptors genes and bone mineral density in postmenopausal and secondary osteoporosis. The association between estrogen receptor gene variants and other estrogen-related clinical syndromes such as coronary artery disease in males and females and dementia are also studied.
  • Hadassah is also conducting therapeutic trials for bone disease in dialysis patients.

For more information on Hadassah's Act Against Osteoporosis program or other Health and Wellness programs, contact programming@hadassah.org. or 212-303-8094. Grants are available. To learn more visit: http://ww.nof.org or http://hadassah.org.il/English For teens visit http://www.bestbonesforever.gov

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