Largest ever Canadian study on osteoporosis informs health policy

    MUHC team shows Canadians without risk factors need bone density
    measurements only once every 5 years

    MONTREAL, June 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Dr David Goltzman and his team from the
Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) and McGill
University - along with colleagues from across Canada - have issued new
recommendations to public health authorities about how to best cope with
osteoporosis, a bone disease which leads to increased risk of fracture,
particularly in the elderly. Their recommendations derive from the latest
results of the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos), which will be
published June 16 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
    Osteoporosis results from reduced bone mineral density (BMD), disrupted
bone microarchitecture and alteration in the distribution and variety of
non-collagenous proteins in bone, all of which serve to place sufferers at far
greater risk of bone fractures, which can be life-threatening in the elderly.
The measure of BMD is the main predictive marker of the disease.
    "Osteoporosis has enormous impact on public health and on the quality of
life of patients," Dr. Goltzman said.
    The latest CaMos results confirm that, for women, menopause is a critical
period during which bone mineral density decreases in all the bones studied.
More specifically: an average decrease of 6.8% over 5 years was observed in
the hip. Significant BMD loss also occurs after age 70, mainly in the hip
bone. In men, BMD decreases more gradually, although it starts earlier, around
the age of 40.
    The fact that rapid BMD loss occurs after menopause was already known but
had never been previously quantified, while the second period of BMD decline
after age 70 is a completely new discovery.
    "These findings provide new insight into the public health impact of
osteoporosis," Dr. Goltzman explained. "Population aging combined with the
potential human and financial consequences of fractures, notably hip fractures
represent a major challenge. However, knowing the age at which bone loss is
more likely to occur opens up new avenues for preventive measures."
    The CaMos study involves nine other centres across Canada that are
coordinated from the MUHC in Montreal. It has recruited more than 10,000
participants since 1996. The long duration and the national scale of the
project have enabled researchers to determine that participants' BMD varies
very slowly in the absence of other risk factors.
    "The scope of the CaMos study means that we can produce data that are
representative of the entire Canadian population, in order to help improve
official recommendations, and to enhance the prevention, diagnosis and
treatment of osteoporosis," said Dr Goltzman.
    "In light of our results, we think that, in the absence of other risk
factors, BMD should be measured every five years, instead of every two years,
as is currently the case," he continued. "Of course, this frequency should be
modified if the person does have other risk factors.
    Dr. David Goltzman is the co-principal investigator of the CaMos project.
He is a researcher in the Musculoskeletal Disorders axis at the RI MUHC and
Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology/Metabolism) and of Physiology at McGill
University's Faculty of Medicine.
    The CaMos study is sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health
Research (CIHR), Merck Frosst Canada Ltd., Eli Lilly Canada Inc., Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Alliance for Better Bone Health (Sanofi-Aventis and
Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.), the Dairy Farmers of Canada and
the Arthritis Society of Canada.

    About the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (CaMos)

    Initiated in 1996, CaMos is a prospective, population-based epidemiologic
study involving a collaboration of leading Canadian experts, 10 study centres
in 7 provinces and more than 10,000 participants across Canada. This largest
ever Canadian study on osteoporosis, recognized internationally for its
validity and quality, features a sample representative of the Canadian
population and a long-term perspective with almost 70% retention after
10 years of follow-up. Study results have helped to inform health policy and
improve osteoporosis prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in Canada. For more
information on CaMos please visit

    The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is a comprehensive academic
health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical
programs, research and teaching. Its partner hospitals are the Montreal
Children's Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, the Royal Victoria
Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute and
the Lachine Hospital. The goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on
the most advanced knowledge in the health care field and to contribute to the
development of new

    The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC)
is a world-renowned biomedical and health-care hospital research centre.
Located in Montreal, Quebec, the institute is the research arm of the MUHC,
the university health center affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill
University. The institute supports over 600 researchers, nearly 1200 graduate
and post-doctoral students and operates more than 300 laboratories devoted to
a broad spectrum of fundamental and clinical research. The Research Institute
operates at the forefront of knowledge, innovation and technology and is
inextricably linked to the clinical programs of the MUHC, ensuring that
patients benefit directly from the latest research-based knowledge.
    The Research Institute of the MUHC is supported in part by the Fonds de
la recherche en santé du Québec.
    For further details visit:

For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Kling, Communications Coordinator
(Research), MUHC Public Relations and Communications, (514) 843-1560,; Mark Shainblum, Media Relations Officer
(Research), McGill University, (514) 398-2189,

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