The Faces of Osteoporosis
- Created on 07-15-2015
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Free Screening Gives Americans Steps for Bone Health
OAKLAND, CA., July 14, 2015 – Today, 447 older adults have a roadmap to better bone health that includes individual steps they can take to prevent debilitating and potentially deadly fractures. Members of the group were educated about their personalized risk during the third annual “Freedom From Fractures" free screening event on July 11, 2015. The event brought together 8 independent living facilities, 2 hospitals and 75 trained volunteers in six states.
“Preventing fractures is the key to keeping older adults independent and healthy,” noted Kathleen Cody, Executive Director of American Bone Health. “A fracture can dramatically change the course of a life.”
The volunteers came from all walks of life and were trained to give bone health consultations using the validated FORE Fracture Risk Calculator™. Developed by Dr. Bruce Ettinger, the calculator uses 16 different clinical factors that can increase fracture risk. The results are presented on a simple colored graph, indicating if the participant is in the low, moderate or high-risk range. The educators then discuss the risks and plan of action with each individual.
Of those screened, 53 percent were found to be at high risk and another 43 percent were at moderate risk for having a fracture in the next ten years. Participants at high risk were encouraged to speak with the doctors and nutritionist at their facility. According to Julie Clark, a trained Peer Educator who led the team at The Village at East Farms in Connecticut, people at high risk often have other medical conditions that affect bone health. “With this bone health education, individuals are more knowledgeable about what to ask and discuss with their doctors.”
In addition to the large number of participants at high risk, only 42 percent of adults age 65 and older reported getting a bone density test – a covered benefit under Medicare and a critical component of preventive health. “It’s shocking that the majority of older patients are not getting a bone density test,” said Yorlet Torres, patient coordinator for the Geriatric Fracture Program at Good Samaritan Hospital in Melville, New York. “A bone density test can really help identify patients who need treatment to prevent fractures”
Of the patients at moderate or high risk of having a fracture, only 11 percent were being treated for osteoporosis, likely the underlying cause of their risk. “We collectively need to do a better job of preventing bone loss and fractures,” says Cody, “no one should have to suffer from a preventable fracture.”
About American Bone Health
American Bone Health is a national grassroots organization mobilizing individuals and communities with timely health information that supports strong and healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis and fractures.
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