IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis

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Queen Rania opens world's largest osteoporosis congress, some 5,000 delegates expected

LISBON, Portugal
For release on May 11, 2002

The world's largest scientific congress specifically devoted to osteoporosis was opened in Lisbon today by Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, patron of IOF-International Osteoporosis Foundation.

Some 5,000 participants will attend the Congress, which takes place at the Lisbon Conference Center, Lisbon, Portugal. Researchers will present approximately 500 papers and posters.

Other dignitaries expected at the launch include Portuguese Minister of Health Luis Felipe Pereira, President of the Portuguese Ordes dos Médicus Prof. Germano de Sousa, and Manuel Ferreira Netto from the Junta de Turismo da Costa do Estoril.

Osteoporosis is one of the world's most common and debilitating diseases in which the bones become brittle and break easily. The result: pain, loss of movement, inability to perform daily chores, and in many cases, death. One out of three women will get osteoporosis in her lifetime, one out of eight men. Osteoporosis is so common that the lifetme risk of hip fracture in women is greater than the sum of lifetime risks of having breast, endometrial and ovarian cancer. Men have a greater chance of getting osteoporosis than they have of getting prostate cancer.

IOF President Pierre D. Delmas, who is also president of the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, noted in his opening address "osteoporosis is now being recognized as a major health problem in many countries. Although our understanding of the disease's pathogenesis is still incomplete, there has been a tremendous improvement in diagnostic tools, and more effective drugs are now available which can prevent bone loss and reduce fracture occurrence for patients with osteoporosis. Many of these exciting research developments will be presented in the next four days."

Some of the new research that will be presented at Lisbon covers these themes:

  • Socio-economic burden of osteoporosis
  • Male osteoporosis
  • Life style factors in causing osteoporosis
  • Quality of life for people with osteoporosis
  • Why doctors don't diagnose in time
  • Monitoring treatment with a blood test
  • Numerous new treatments

Summary of other activities at the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis:

  • For the first time, a special symposium, "Recent advances in osteoarthritis", organized in collaboration with ILAR (International League Against Rheumatism) and OARSI (Osteoarthritis Researach Society International) will be presented on Tuesday May 14, 2002.
  • 24 "Meet the experts" sessions
  • Presentation of the IOF-Servier Young Investigator Research Fellowship
  • Presentation of the IOF-Claus Christiansen Research Fellowship
  • Presentation of the IOF-MSD Young Investigator Awards
  • Thirteen satellite symposia, sponsored by 13 major pharmaceutical companies, will examine new diagnostic, and treatment options for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
  • 1st IOF Women Leaders' Roundtable will issue a Call to Action
  • Launch of Portuguese leg of IOF European Osteo-Tour consisting of "Osteoporosis: A Photographic Vision" prepared by Oliviero Toscani, and an Osteo-Truck which provides osteoporosis information and diagnostic advice.

Note to journalists:

The IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis will take place May 10-14, 2002 in the Lisboa Congress Center, Lisbon, Portugal. The Lisbon event is expected to be the largest scientific congress devoted specifically to osteoporosis ever held.

A wide range of briefing materials for journalists is available:

Journalists can also view the Congress abstracts at:

At the Lisbon Conference Center, accredited journalists can use an equipped media center, with daily press briefings.

Daily press bulletins will be circulated via email.