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Is osteoporosis an important health problem?

Osteoporosis is a serious health problem. It affects 10 million Americans, causes 1.5 million fractures yearly, and costs $17 billion per year. Fractures due to osteoporosis may lead to disability or death. Osteoporotic fractures are more common among women over age 50 than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined.

How can I find out if I have osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a silent disease. The only way to detect it before a fracture occurs is to have a bone density test or, you could wait and have a fracture! Healthy women should be tested at age 65. Healthy men should be tested at age 70. Higher risk men and women should be tested sooner.

What is a bone density test?

A bone density test is sometimes called BMD or DXA test. Medicare and private insurance often cover it. This painless test is fast (5-10 minutes) and involves low x-ray exposure.

What can I do to prevent or treat osteoporosis?

Adequate calcium, vitamin D, and weight-bearing exercise are important in preventing osteoporosis, but are not sufficient for someone who already has the disease. Prescription medications currently approved by the FDA to treat osteoporosis include Actonel, Evista, Fortéo, Fosamax, and Miacalcin.

How can I reduce the risk of falls and injury?

Check your environment (good lighting, non-slip floor covering, grab bars, etc.), assess medications (blood pressure medication, sedatives, etc.), use proper body mechanics, correct vision and hearing problems, be careful on stairs (or avoid them if you can), and use proper footwear. If you are likely to fall, you should consider wearing hip protectors that provide padding to reduce the risk of fracture in case of a fall.

What are some pros and cons of participating in an osteoporosis research study?

There is no cost for physical exams, tests, or treatment. The results of bone density and laboratory tests can usually be sent to your doctor. You may not benefit directly, but you may provide benefits for medical science and for future generations. Most studies involved a placebo (you may or may not get active medication). You will be monitored and alerted if you are losing ground. We will pay for parking, but cannot compensate you for being in the study. We may be able to arrange transportation.

What if I want to learn more about your studies?

Contact one of our research staff at (513) 475-7415. They will ask you some questions. If your answers suggest you might qualify, they will arrange a screening visit to our office. We are happy to answer any questions that you have, at any time.

What if I qualify?

Most osteoporosis studies last one to three years. Before you sign up, you will find out how long that particular study is scheduled to last. The frequency of visits depends on the study. It often takes several visits to get started, then visits are usually every three to six months. Some visits involve blood tests, bone density tests, EKGs, or x-rays. Visits usually last one to two hours. You can withdraw from a study at any time.

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