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.