Today's News

Friday, March 17, 2000

Orthopaedists focus on women's health issues

"Women's health issues are a very major topic for orthopaedic surgeons," stated Laura L. Tosi, MD, co-chair of the AAOS Oversight Panel on Women's Health Issues, in a Wednesday afternoon press conference. Women account for more than 50 percent of the world's population and are at increased risk for certain orthopaedic conditions, such as osteoporosis.

The at-risk female population is growing ever larger. For example, the fastest growing segment of the American population is women aged 85 and older. The Academy is offering several advocacy and education programs that address the importance of the musculoskeletal health issues facing women.

AAOS women's health-related programs include women's sports medicine; a curriculum developed by the Task Force on Osteoporosis Education, which soon will be available to AAOS members via the Internet; a series of educational courses titled, "Osteoporosis and Other Problems of the Older Adult," to be offered in multiple locations; and numerous publications on topics such as fall prevention.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation is recognizing the Academy's efforts on osteoporosis education with an award to be presented by Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD, president-elect of the NOF.

Dr. Dawson-Hughes also addressed the press conference, providing information on osteoporosis, which is a health threat for more than 28 mil-lion Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. Dr. Dawson-Hughes outlined recently revised NOF guidelines for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

The NOF recommends that all adults obtain an adequate daily intake of dietary calcium (at least 1200 mg/day) and vitamin D (400 to 800 IU/day), participate in regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise to reduce the risk of falls and fractures, and avoid tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol intake.

The NOF guidelines list numerous risk factors for osteoporotic fracture, such as advanced age, female gender, Caucasian race, current cigarette smoking, low body weight, and infrequent physical activity.

NOF recommendations for who should undergo bone mineral density testing are based on a combination of elements, including patient age, number of other risk factors, prolonged hormone replacement therapy, and whether the patient is considering therapy for osteoporosis.

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Last modified 17/March/2000 by IS