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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|Tuesday, April 6, 2004
||Contact: AoA Press Office
April 6, 2004
NEW SURVEY SHOWS FEW WOMEN BELIEVE THEY ARE AT RISK FOR OSTEOPOROSIS
D.C.- A new survey reveals that even though the majority of
women aged 45 and older have at least two risk factors
for osteoporosis, only 15 percent of those women not diagnosed
by a doctor believe they are at risk for the disease. The new
survey was conducted by Roper Public Affairs and Media on behalf
of the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) with funding
from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration
on Aging (AoA).
The survey tested women’s knowledge
of osteoporosis, the actions they take to keep their bones
healthy, their overall
concerns about aging, as well as the information sources they
rely on and their perception of personal risk of developing osteoporosis.
A total of 500 telephone interviews of women, a representative
sample of the U.S. population of women 45 years and older, were
conducted from July 8 through August 12, 2003.
“Women need to know their health risk for osteoporosis
and what they can do to prevent the disease,” said Josefina
G. Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging. “While we
know that effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment strategies
exists for osteoporosis, many women have not taken action. At
AoA, we want to reverse this trend. We want women empowered on
this issue and we want them taking action to prevent this debilitating
disease,” Carbonell added.
The top risk factor cited for osteoporosis among survey respondents
was having normal or early menopause. Other risk factors, increasing
the likelihood for developing osteoporosis, were being small
boned or thin, having a family history of osteoporosis, a history
of smoking, leading a sedentary or inactive lifestyle and currently
According to the survey, many women,
more than four out of ten, are not talking to their doctor
about osteoporosis or keeping
their bones healthy. Over half (54 percent) of the women age
45 to 54 are not doing so due to a lack of concern about the
issue or a belief that their doctor would bring it up “if
it were important.” The margin of sampling error is plus
or minus four percentage points of the total sample.
NOF was one of three organizations with extensive experience
in the area of osteoporosis research and education who received
grants to assist AoA better educate and raise awareness about
osteoporosis among women, especially post-menopausal women.
For more information on the survey and osteoporosis prevention,
diagnosis and treatment, please go to www.nof.org.