WOMEN'S HEALTH: OSTEOPOROSIS

Date

2013-04-12

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Chandrasekera, Lalanica

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Purpose: Osteoporosis is associated with changes in bone remodeling, characterized by decreased bone mass and structural deterioration. A major feature of osteoporosis, fractures, can have an enormous impact on a patient's morbidity and mortality, leading to increased need of social services and adding to the cost of health care. As there is no cure for osteoporosis, the importance of wellness and prevention becomes paramount. Here, we will review various osteoporosis resources available to the Terrant County community as well as on a national level. Methods: Daily calcium supplements along with Vitamin D improve bone density and maintain overall bone health, while weight bearing, strengthening, and balance exercises prevent further bone loss. Hormone replacement therapy is targeted to prevent rapid bone loss in post-menopausal women, and medications such as Actonel, Boniva, and Fosamax can be used to treat and prevent osteoporosis. Results: Locally, the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention at the Tarrant County Public Health Department offers free classes focusing on methods to delay the onset of osteoporosis. Services targeted to women's health and aging are the center of focus at "A Woman's View," a multidisciplinary clinic in Dallas, Texas. On a broader spectrum, the National Osteoporosis Foundation offers educational resources aimed at raising awareness of this disease and keeping physicians up-to-date with novel treatment options. Lastly, online services as well as consultation with Endocrinologists provide a rich resource to maintaining bone health and delaying age-associated osteoporosis. Conclusions: As it stands, the burden of osteoporosis lies mainly on elderly women, but remains underdiagnosed in men and those with risk factors predisposing to poor bone health. The Division of Chronic Disease Prevention at the Tarrant County Public Health Department, the National Osteoporosis Foundation, and other local multidisciplinary centers are resources discovered in this study whose purpose is to promote methods of prevention and wellness, including access to education. While these resources have proven to be a boon to the community, in order to alleviate the impact of osteoporosis on health care costs and improving overall public health, greater measures should be taken to target resources to more appropriate at-risk populations. For example, the adolescent female population is at risk for inadequate calcium intake and may be a beneficial group for osteoporosis awareness.

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