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Port Dover to Host Osteoporosis Public Forum

SIMCOE, ON, JUNE 3, 2009 – Osteoporosis is not just a disease of the elderly, nor is it a normal part of aging. That’s the main message that a group of community experts hope to get across to people at a public forum taking place on Wednesday June 10th at 7:00 p.m. at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Port Dover. The forum is a free public event being sponsored by the Osteoporosis Society of Canada, Dell Pharmacies and the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.

“More women die from complications from osteoporosis than from breast cancer. More men die from complications of osteoporosis than from prostate cancer. Yet, you will never see osteoporosis listed as the official cause of death on an obituary”, says Lisa Campbell, Area Manager for Osteoporosis Canada. “It doesn’t kill people on the day of the fracture, but at least 20 percent of women and 34 percent of men will die within one year of breaking their hip from osteoporosis.” That’s why it’s so important to learn about this disease and catch it early before a fracture occurs.

Osteoporosis is a silent disease that often escapes notice until a major event like a broken hip. It’s a disease characterized by low bone density causing fragile bones that have a tendency to fracture easily. There is no pain associated with the bone loss until a fracture occurs, and that’s why it’s often called ‘the silent thief’. Something as simple as bending down to pick up a bag of groceries is enough to cause fractures in people with osteoporosis.

There are approximately 30,000 hip fractures in Canada each year and 70% of hip fractures are due to osteoporosis. One of the biggest misconceptions is that osteoporosis is just a disease of normal aging and only affects little old women. In actual fact, this disease can strike anyone at any age, although it is most common in women after menopause and men after the age of sixty-five.

“Osteoporosis needn’t be a death sentence”, says Joanne Alessi, Injury Prevention Coordinator from the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “If diagnosed early, the disease can be very well managed and fractures can be prevented by up to 90%. That’s why it’s so important to learn about this disease and take appropriate action.”

During the public forum, Mike Marini, a local pharmacist from Dover Apothecary will talk about the various drug treatments and answer any questions about calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Also, Coraine Wray, a public health dietitian will discuss proper nutrition to maintain healthy bones and prevent further deterioration. Other panel speakers will talk about how osteoporosis can be detected, treated and managed with bone building strategies such as exercise.

Since February 2005, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care launched a province wide strategy aimed at osteoporosis. The overall goal of the Ontario Osteoporosis Strategy is to reduce the incidence of low trauma fractures and re-fractures in people with osteoporosis. It is hoped that this strategy will directly lead to decreased illness and deaths due to osteoporosis and the associated costs of managing this important public health disease.

To register for this free public forum, please call 1(800) 463-6842, ext. 399.

For more information contact:
Joanne Alessi, RN B.ScN,
Injury Prevention Coordinator,
Haldimand- Norfolk Health Unit, at (905) 318-5367 ext. 322