One in two women and one in four men age 50 and older are at risk of breaking a bone due to osteoporosis. The New York State Osteoporosis Prevention & Education Program (NYSOPEP) at Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw and the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) are working together to ensure that both consumers and medical professionals understand that osteoporosis and the related fractures could happen to them.
Only 15 percent of women age 45 and older believe themselves to be at risk for this disease, according to a recent survey conducted by Roper Public Affairs and Media for the NOF. The organization estimates that 44 million American women and men have osteoporosis or low bone density, which leaves them vulnerable to debilitating fractures.
“While women today are more aware of osteoporosis, most still do not recognize their personal risk of breaking a bone due to the disease,” says Dr. Jeri Nieves, an osteoporosis expert at Helen Hayes Hospital. “We are working with the National Osteoporosis Foundation to raise awareness of risk factors and to encourage everyone to take action to protect their bones now, regardless of their age.”
NYSOPEP suggests that adults follow the NOF’s guidelines for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, including:
1. Get your daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D.
2. Engage in regular weight-bearing exercise.
3. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.
4. Follow strategies for fall prevention.
5. Talk to your medical professional about promoting healthy bones.
6. When appropriate, have a bone density test.
7. Take osteoporosis medication when prescribed by your doctor.
In recognition of Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, NYSOPEP is offering several activities, which are free of charge and open to the community.
* Monday, May 24, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Helen Hayes Hospital & NYSOPEP professionals will be available in the Atrium of Helen Hayes Hospital to distribute information and to answer questions about nutrition, exercise and osteoporosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
* Thursday, June 3, 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Bone Health Seminar: Michelle Mosner, RD, CDN and Shari Silverstein, RN, MS, address basic bone biology, osteoporosis risk factors, the diagnosis, prevention and treatment for osteoporosis and answer participant’s questions about how to promote healthy bones. Call 845-786-4318 to register.
For additional information on osteoporosis, visit NYSOPEP’s new web site at WWW.NYSOPEP.ORG, or call the Center at Helen Hayes Hospital at 845-786-4772.