“If left untreated, osteoporosis makes your bones as fragile as porcelain”: this is the claim of ‘The BoneTour 4 Sicily’, a campaign promoted by FIRMO – Italian Foundation for Research on Bone Diseases with Amgen and Echolight – that will take place from 11 to 23 May in the squares of 9 cities of Sicily. It is estimated that in Sicily over 560,000 women are at risk of fragility fractures, as consequence of untreated osteoporosis. Fragility fractures and the risk of possible re-fractures can be avoided with adequate prevention and timely drug treatment.
The initiative will see events of one to two days in the squares of the main Sicilian cities, where will be placed a gazebo and a camper that will involve the population in different activities: information and prevention, thanks to the distribution of educational material and the presence of medical specialists and nutritionists who will answer citizens’ questions; screening, by completing a questionnaire and with the free risk assessment of fracture through the measurement of bone mineral density by specialized personnel. On board the camper will be used our innovative EchoS device, the first system, for the early diagnosis of osteoporosis through a simple radiation-free examination, quick and accurate and without the use of ionizing radiation at the reference sites: lumbar vertebrae and femoral neck.
After the success of the last editions that have involved many Italian capitals over the years, this year’s campaign is entirely dedicated to Sicily. “Our goal is to reach the greatest number of people and concentrate the campaign in a region allows us to be more capillaries – says Maria Luisa Brandi, President of FIRMO and Director of SOD of Diseases of Mineral Metabolism and Bone University Hospital Careggi of Florence – we want to increase Sicilian awareness of the risk of fracture associated with bone fragility. Healthy eating, physical activity and timely treatment can help to significantly improve the prognosis and safeguard bone health. Today innovative drugs are available, such as denosumab, which, in addition to being effective, have the advantage of being able to be administered subcutaneously twice a year, even at home, with obvious benefits in terms of adherence to therapy and quality of life of patients » .
“A fracture is a traumatic event that involves a significant reduction in the quality of life of people, if we then speak of fractures of the femur or the column these have a strong impact on life expectancy – says Michele D’Arienzo, Director of the Clinic Orthopedics and Traumatology, University of Palermo – being often associated with pain, disability and death; in particular, 80% of people fractured in the femur within the first year of the fracture have disability, 40% do not walk around anymore and about 20% die. Added to this is the very high risk of subsequent fractures “.
Prevention of osteoporosis serves to preserve bone strength. Pharmacological treatments may be associated with interventions on nutrition and physical activity. Anti-reabsorptive drugs are available today, which slow down bone resorption, and anabolic drugs that increase bone formation.
«In Sicily, over 19,000 fractures of fragility occur every year – explains Giulia Letizia Mauro, Director of the UOC for Rehabilitation, Department of Neurosensory and Motory Surgery, A.O.U.P. Paolo Giaccone di Palermo – Innovative therapies, such as monoclonal antibodies, determine a significant reduction in the risk of fracture at vertebral, non-vertebral and femoral levels. These therapies, thanks to a simple method of administration, improve the persistence of treatment, which is the real problem of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis. The lack of adherence to therapy, with a percentage of neglect that is close to 50%, is one of the reasons why many women, even if treated, are fractured “.
Program (from 10 am to 18 pm):
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