|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 13, 1998
Contact: Ray Fleming|
Office of Scientific and Health Communications
Osteoporosis Resource Center Receives Funding From NIAMS
and Six Other Federal Partners
Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and increased susceptibility to fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. It is a major public health threat for 28 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. In the United States today, 10 million individuals already have osteoporosis, and 18 million more have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for the disease. One out of every two women and one in eight men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.
- make research-based information available via phone, fax, e-mail and the World Wide Web and explore new ways to communicate.
- document educational barriers and test strategies for health professionals to better identify, diagnose and treat osteoporosis and related bone diseases.
- target high-risk populations and address access-to-care issues, including cultural, language and educational barriers in specific populations.
- design, implement and evaluate bone diseases education and information programs in several regions of the United States.
- organize working groups of medical experts and consumer representatives to review data and prepare publications relevant to osteoporosis and related bone diseases education.
Paget's disease and osteogenesis imperfecta, as well as other bone diseases, also present significant problems, and are included in resource center efforts. Paget's disease is a chronic disorder that typically results in enlarged and deformed bones in one or more regions of the skeleton. It is rarely diagnosed in people under 40, but may occur in 1 to 3 percent of persons over 60. Both men and women are affected. Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is a genetic disorder characterized by bones that break easily, often from little or no apparent cause. There are at least four distinct forms of OI, representing extreme variations in severity and affecting approximately 30,000 people in the United States.
In the past decade, there have been extraordinary advances in understanding basic bone biology, leading to targeted approaches in preventing and treating osteoporosis and several related bone diseases. Wide application to clinical care, however, has lagged behind. Further education of health care professionals, patients, and the public is needed, particularly in teaching osteoporosis prevention to children and adolescents.
The resource center may be contacted at:
NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases~National Resource Center
1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-4603
(800) 624-BONE (toll free)
Fax: (202) 223-2237
TTY: (202) 466-4315
Web site: http://www.osteo.org
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a component of the National Institutes of Health, leads and coordinates the federal medical research effort in osteoporosis by conducting and supporting research projects, research training, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies, and by disseminating health and research information.
To interview Dr. Dawson-Hughes, contact:
Tufts University School of Medicine