Bone density concerns grow as population ages
Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo wants more Americans to pay closer attention to bone health, or osteoporosis. It is estimated that millions of men and women are diagnosed each year with the bone disease. This morning, he met with Boise doctor Paul Collins to discuss this and other health-related issues. Last month Crapo underwent a bone density test at Collinsâ?? office in Boise. A bone density scan is a quick and painless test that can detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs as well as predict risk of future fractures. The test runs approximately $135, and is generally covered by health insurance.Crapo said, â??There are many ways that we can safeguard our health with simple changes to our routines or diets. Keeping our bones strong is a great preventive health care action, and I know that I have made changes in my life to help prevent the onset of osteoporosis.â??Collins said, â??Bone loss changes your body and your life. It weakens your skeleton and increases the risk of fracture, which in turn can lead to additional health concerns. It is really a quality of life issue, and as our population ages, we will face greater health risks for this easily preventable disease.â??Those at higher risk for osteoporosis include women, over 65, and those using medications such as corticosteroids and anti-convulsants. In addition to having a regular bone density test, you can improve your bone density by adding calcium to your diet, exercising, particularly with weight-bearing exercises, decreasing smoking, and reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption.Since being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999, Crapo has made preventive health concerns a priority. For the last two years, he has sponsored health awareness booths at Idaho county and state fairs.Crapoâ??s and Collinâ??s comments on bone density testing are available via satellite:1:45-2:15 p.m. Mountain/12:45-1:15 p.m. PacificC-Band Galaxy 3Transponder 7 HorizontalDownlink 3840Audio 6.2. & 6.8# # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://crapo.senate.gov or www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.