Canadians risking broken bones despite strong osteoporosis awareness



    Osteoporosis Canada launches take action campaign

    TORONTO, June 11 /CNW/ - According to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos
Reid on behalf of Osteoporosis Canada, almost 90 per cent of Canadians aged 50
and older know about osteoporosis but only 24 per cent have spoken with a
health professional and only 30 per cent have been tested for the disease
(i.e. a bone mineral density test).
    The survey released today also revealed that respondents are aware that
age, gender and lack of calcium and vitamin D are risk factors for
osteoporosis, a disease characterized by low bone mass and the break down of
bone tissue, leading to bones that are easier to break. Osteoporosis affects
more than 1.4 million Canadians including one out of every four women and at
least one out of every eight men aged 50 and older.
    "The problem isn't making people aware of osteoporosis, rather the
problem is getting those at risk to do something about it so they can keep
their bones strong," said Dr. Diane Thériault, rheumatologist and Chair,
National Board of Directors, Osteoporosis Canada. "These are eye opening
results. We need to give people with osteoporosis, and those at risk, the
information they need to take charge of their bone health. Taking action may
reduce their risk of the consequences of osteoporosis, including pain,
disfigurement and loss of height, mobility and independence."
    In response to the survey results, and to celebrate its 25th Anniversary,
Osteoporosis Canada is launching its Beat the Break 25 campaign, a program
designed to generate a minimum of 25 new inquiries per week to its bilingual
toll-free information lines over the course of 25 weeks from June 8 until the
end of November, which is Osteoporosis Month in Canada.
    "We're proud of the work we've done to raise awareness of osteoporosis in
Canada, but we have to take the message further. People aged 50 and older who
may be at risk for osteoporosis need to be assessed for the disease," said Dr.
Famida Jiwa, Interim President and CEO, Osteoporosis Canada. "The Beat the
Break 25 program will help callers learn more about osteoporosis and encourage
them to discuss it with their doctor. It's better for individuals to take
action to reduce their risk, rather than wait until they break a bone."
    Other survey highlights include that half (51 per cent) of Canadian
adults aged 50 and older have a personal connection to osteoporosis, and that
women are twice as likely as men to say they know a lot about osteoporosis (40
vs. 18 per cent).
    "A much larger proportion of those older Canadians who have osteoporosis
or who have a family member with osteoporosis know a lot about the disease
which implies that Canadians aged 50 and older are only learning about
osteoporosis after the fact," said Glenys Babcock, Vice President, Ipsos Reid.
"The survey suggests that younger adults need to learn more about osteoporosis
to be able to take action to reduce their risk."

    About the survey

    Ipsos Reid conducted a random sample survey of 875 Canadian adults aged
50 and older by telephone from May 15 to 24, 2007. The results of the survey
are considered accurate to within 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 of
what they would have been had all adults in Canada aged 50 and older been
interviewed.

    About Osteoporosis Canada

    Osteoporosis Canada is the leading source of information about
osteoporosis in Canada. It is the only national organization serving Canadians
with osteoporosis and those at risk. The organization works to educate,
empower and support individuals and communities in the prevention and
treatment of osteoporosis.





For further information:

For further information: to arrange an interview with Dr. Famida Jiwa or
Dr. Diane Thériault, please contact: Andrew Leopold, Weber Shandwick
Worldwide, (416) 642-7949, aleopold@webershandwick.com; Kelly Mills,
Osteoporosis Canada, (416) 696-2663 ext. 226, kmills@osteoporosis.ca

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Osteoporosis Canada

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