Are you at risk?

Osteoporotic fractures are a major public health problem. According to Health Canada, an estimated 70 per cent of fractures in those over age 45 may be attributed to osteoporosis. And, it gets worse: age-related fractures increase exponentially with age, and occur more commonly in women. At age 50, women with an average life expectancy of 81 years have a 15 per cent lifetime risk of suffering a hip fracture and a 15 per cent risk of forearm fracture.

Help is at hand in the form of a new one-minute test just approved for use in United States. The SAHARA Clinical Bone Sonometer estimates bone density by a short ultrasound test. The device, already in wide use throughout Europe and Latin America, measures bone mineral density at the heel. Physicians then read a self-contained printer readout of the ultrasound test results and consider lifestyle, family history, age, and diet to determine whether therapy should begin.

The current method for bone densitometry assessment uses x-rays to measure the density of possible hip and bone fracture sites. The advantage of the SAHARA device is that it doesn’t require a licensed x-ray operator, and can be used by physicians in their fices.