Local advocates for better bone health visit Capitol Hill

In April, Marjorie Sawyer of the Public Health Sciences program in the Penn State College of Medicine visited her representatives in Congress as part of the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s (NOF) "Strong Voices for Strong Bones on Capitol Hill" event. In advance of National Osteoporosis Prevention and Awareness Month in May, NOF brought together patients and health professionals from across the country to raise awareness of osteoporosis and bone health in Congress. Sawyer is a registered radiologic technologist certified in the specialty of bone densitometry and performs DXA examinations for the General Clinical Research Center at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

During her visits on Capitol Hill, Sawyer represented the views of the osteoporosis community including patients, family members, people at risk for the disease, health professionals and others who work with those living with or at risk for the disease.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which an individual’s bones become weak and are more likely to break. One in two women age 50 and older and nearly one in four men will break a bone because of osteoporosis in their lifetimes.

There are 44 million Americans living with or at risk for osteoporosis. More than 2.5 million Pennsylvania residents are estimated to live with or at risk for osteoporosis. But osteoporosis largely is preventable and treatable through a bone healthy lifestyle.

Everyone in our community can incorporate simple steps in their daily lives to help prevent osteoporosis and improve their bone health. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends the following steps for better bone health:

  • Get your daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Engage in regular weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercise
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about bone health and find out if you are at risk for osteoporosis.
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Last Updated May 20, 2010