China Osteoporosis Foundation (COF)
Free bone density testing and risk assessment offered for World Osteoporosis Day
For World Osteoporosis Day 2005 the Chinese Osteoporosis Foundation, supported by Roche Pharmaceuticals offered free diagnostic services in some big hospitals in Beijing and Shanghai to make the public become more aware of the long-neglected disease. In addition, between October 15 and November 15 in 37 hospitals in Beijing and Shanghai, 400,000 leaflets of the "One Minute Risk Test" will be distributed to people for a fast and convenient osteoporosis risk evaluation.
According to the fifth national census in 2000, about 88,260,000 people suffer from primary osteoporosis, making China the country with the highest number of osteoporosis patients in the world. The annual medical cost for the group of people affected by the disease is estimated to be about 15 billion yuan (US.84 billion), not to mention the major strain it causes on the national healthcare programme.
"In the past, we did not give too much attention to osteoporosis. But more and more clinical experiences proved that osteoporosis-related bone fractures were much harder for us to fix," said Dang Gengting, director of the Orthopaedics Department of the Third Hospital of the Peking University.
The overall prevalence of broken bones is higher in women, according to Meng Xunwu, director of the endocrine department of Peking Union Medical College Hospital.
One in three women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures. In women over 45 years of age, osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in hospital than many other diseases, including diabetes, heart attacks and breast cancer.
In Shanghai, three-fourths of the osteoporosis patients never visit a doctor, and only 2 per cent of the patients undertake treatment, according to Zhu Hanmin, director of the Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Centre in Huadong Hospital in Shanghai.
There are only about 400 bone mineral density test machines around the country, so a "One Minute Risk Test" can be another effective tool to evaluate the bone health. The test only needs the respondents to answer nine questions. If all or part of their answers were "yes," they would be recommended to receive a bone mineral density test.
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