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PITTSBURGH (September 20, 2008) – This fall, a familiar dance move will bring women across the country together in an effort to protect them against a leading, yet often overlooked, health risk associated with falls – hip fracture. Remembering doing “the bump” – the iconic dance in which people bump hips to the beat of the music – comes to virtual life as an entertaining way for women to “bump up” their hip health awareness. “Although hip fracture is a serious health issue that will affect one out of three women by the age of 90 and results in more than 300,000 hospitalizations annually, awareness and concern of the risks associated with it remains low,” says Dr. Donnica Moore, president of the Sapphire Women's Health Group and nationally renowned women’s health expert.

“Having healthy hips is vitally important to anyone who wants to live a healthy, active life,” Dr. Donnica says. “However, there is still room for most women to educate themselves on hip fracture and how to lower their risks.”

According to a recent survey commissioned by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare among women aged 45 to 64, 80 percent of those polled said that they do not worry about hip fracture. Also, although 92 percent noted that hip fracture could lead to the loss of ability to walk properly or at all, many did not realize some other serious consequences associated with it. In fact, only about one out of three realized that death is also a possible risk, even though one out of four women over 50 who suffers a hip fracture dies within one year. “I am concerned that more women are concerned with what their hips look like on the outside than what their hip health is like on the inside,” says Dr. Donnica.

While most women may not realize the severity of hip fractures, most agree that their hips greatly affect their quality of life. Most say that having healthy hips enables them to be as active as possible, enjoy life each and every day and do things like travel without worrying how they will get around. However, while about three out of four women said they consider taking care of their hips an important part of their healthcare regimen, not enough are taking the proper steps to do so. For instance, while taking a calcium and vitamin D supplement like Os-Cal is one of the best ways to keep bones strong, about a third of women 45 to 64 said they do not currently take one. Of those that do take calcium supplements, only about one out of six is taking them properly, in twice daily doses. Experts recommend taking calcium and vitamin D supplements in divided doses throughout the day, as the body can absorb only so much calcium at one time.

Boning Up on the Facts: Role of Calcium and Vitamin D

Adequate calcium intake is one of the best defenses against hip fracture. A person’s body must maintain a constant level of calcium in the blood to function, and when the body’s intake level is too low, it meets its needs by stealing calcium from bones, weakening them over time. And while many people assume they take in enough calcium, more than 75 percent of all Americans are not getting enough in their diet, a statistic that increases among older women. About 90 percent of women over 50 and 99 percent of women over 70 do not get an adequate amount.

As important to bone health as calcium is vitamin D. Getting enough vitamin D is not only essential for calcium absorption, but also plays an important role in keeping muscles active and strong; some studies have shown that getting enough vitamin D can also help prevent falls. And like calcium, many people do not get enough. More than 70 percent of women 51 to 70 and almost 90 percent of women over 70 are vitamin D deficient.

“Even when women try to get enough calcium and vitamin D through diet, it’s still usually not enough,” says Dr. Moore. “Women can make simple choices in order to take a more active role in managing their bone health, and taking a calcium supplement like Os-Cal is a great first step.”

Beginning September 22, the first day of fall, Os-Cal®, the number one doctor- and pharmacist-recommended calcium supplement, invites women to visit www.Os-Cal.com to “do the bump” to learn more about hip fracture and share information with other women they care about. Each woman who “bumps” hip health information to a friend will receive a downloadable $3 coupon for any Os-Cal product, and for each person she “bumps” hips with, she will be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Hollywood, where she just might “bump” into one of her favorite celebrities.

In addition to “doing the bump,” women who visit www.Os-cal.com can access useful tools like a calcium calculator to estimate current daily calcium intake and a fracture risk calculator to assess their risk of breaking a bone. Visitors to the site can also download and print valuable information and tips on hip fracture risks, ways to reduce the risks, the role of calcium and questions to ask the doctor about hip fracture.

For more information on osteoporosis and hip fracture, click here

Created: 9/22/2008  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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