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Osteoporosis in Women of Color

It's Osteoporosis Prevention Month, so we've heard a lot about the risk factors for this potentially debilitating disease.  The most significant risk factor is being a woman who has gone through menopause:  estrogen loss has a major impact on bone loss, which can lead to osteoporosis and fractures.  But the next risk factor we always hear about is that fair-skinned, white women of eastern European background are at greatest risk.  While this is true, women of color often get the message that as a result, they are not at risk. . .which is simply not true.   All women who have gone through menopause are at risk, and should speak to their doctors about bone density testing.

Singing sensation Patti LaBelle has spoken out on this issue because of her experience going through menopause.  She's at somewhat increased risk for osteoporosis because she also has diabetes, but she passed her bone density test with flying colors.

Miss LaBelle:  "It's very important for black women to get their bone density test, because we think that we can't get [osteoporosis], but we can!  Get yourself checked. . .check yourself or you wreck yourself."

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Created: 5/23/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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