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More than 70 countries celebrate World Osteoporosis Day

NYON, Switzerland
October 20, 2003

The first international print advertising publicizing the silent epidemic of osteoporosis was launched today, World Osteoporosis Day, along with a new report that explains why it is essential to prevent the first osteoporotic fracture.


Two new print ads, based on the theme that one in three women will get osteoporosis, were launched by IOF member societies worldwide. The ads, Runners and Bicycle, encourage people to take the IOF One Minute Risk Test and contact an osteoporosis patient society in their country.

The print ads follow the successful television spot, Train, which was launched in January 2003 and which has been broadcast, on a pro bono basis, in some 40 countries.

The ad campaign was created and produced by Campbell Mithun. The global campaign is coordinated by Torre Lazur McCann WW, a member of the IOF Committee of Corporate Advisers. These agencies are part of Interpublic, whose global network of advertising and public relations agencies works with IOF member societies in some 50 countries.

The six women who appear in the Runners ad, photographed by David Maisel, are not professional actors, but middle-aged women who wanted to help raise awareness of osteoporosis.

David Maisel, who shot the Runners ad, said "I loved the notion of working with women who were not professional athletes, and who were in their forties and beyond. It just seemed very honest and real, and spoke directly to the people you'd be trying to reach." Maisel added that his mother had suffered from osteoporosis and by shooting the ad he was "able to honor, in some small way, others who were facing similar health issues."

Similarly, Yutaka Kawachi, the photographer of the Bicycle ad, noted, "When I was a kid in Japan my mother explained that when you get older the body simply shrinks. That made sense because I saw lots of old women and men who were bent over. This is a subject that is very near and dear to my heart, having witnessed many loved ones, including my grandmother, suffer from this highly preventable disease. It has instilled me with a need to educate others on how to care for themselves so as to prevent what I have watched."

Quality of Life: Why prevent the first fracture

For many years IOF has lobbied for policy changes that "prevent the first fracture". IOF's new report, Quality of Life: Why prevent the first fracture, provides, for the first time in a popular publication, dramatic explanations of what happens after a person breaks a bone due to the "silent epidemic". Some conclusions from the report, written by Paul Lips, a member of the IOF Committee of Scientific Advisers:

  • Two out of three first vertebral fractures are not diagnosed.
  • Once a woman suffers a first vertebral fracture, there is a five-fold increase in the risk of developing a new vertebral fracture within one year.
  • One year after a hip fracture, one in four patients has died, one cannot walk, and two of the four can walk but with lower mobility than before the fracture.
  • In addition to relieving suffering, public health systems and insurance companies will save considerable money by preventing the first fracture.

World Osteoporosis Day

Celebrated every October 20, World Osteoporosis Day provides a focus for IOF's 155 members in more than 75 locations. The theme for World Osteoporosis Day 2003 is "Invest in Your Bones. Prevent the First Fracture".

To see the new IOF advertising, to download the Quality of Life report, and to see global World Osteoporosis Day activities please visit:

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is a worldwide organization dedicated to the fight against osteoporosis. It brings together scientists, physicians, patient societies and corporate partners. Working with its 155 member societies in more than 75 locations, and other healthcare-related organizations around the world, IOF encourages awareness and prevention, early detection and improved treatment of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis, in which the bones become porous and break easily, is one of the world's most common and debilitating diseases. The result: pain, loss of movement, inability to perform daily chores, and in many cases, death. One out of three women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will one out of eight men.1 Unfortunately, screening for people at risk is far from being a standard practice. Osteoporosis can, to a certain extent, be prevented, it can be easily diagnosed and effective treatments are available.

Find out if you are at risk, take the IOF One Minute Risk Test at:

1 Melton LJ, Chrischilles EA, Cooper C et al. How many women have osteoporosis? Journal of Bone Mineral Research, 1992; 7:1005-10


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