Surgeon General's Warning on Osteoporosis

Surgeon General’s Report on Osteoporosis an Important Wake-up Call

The National Women’s Health Resource Center (NWHRC) is urging all American women to take seriously the U.S Surgeon General’s new report on bone health and osteoporosis. The report says that 10 million Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis, the most common bone disease, while another 34 million are at risk for developing the crippling condition.

“Women are at particular risk of osteoporosis,” according to Amy Niles, president and CEO of the NWHRC. “If women in their teens and twenties have a diet deficient in calcium and Vitamin D and do not get enough exercise, they are at risk even before the hormonal changes of menopause take effect. The Surgeon General’s report, the first ever on bone health, is a wake-up call for all us.”

“People once thought weak bones and osteoporosis were a natural part of aging, but today we know they are not. For women, the so-called ‘dowager’s hump’ was inevitable. Today, we know that we can prevent bone disease,” concluded Niles.

According to the Surgeon General’s report, osteoporosis can lead to a downward spiral in physical health and qualify of life, including losing the ability to walk, stand up, or dress without severe pain, and can lead to premature death.

The report’s recommendations include: getting the recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active and, especially for older Americans, to take steps to minimize the risk of falls.

The report calls on health care professionals to evaluate risks for patients of all ages, recommend bone density tests for women over the age of 65 and for any man or woman who suffers even a minor fracture after the age of 50.

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