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SCIENTIFIC PROGRAM ANNOUNCED, ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS WELCOMED FOR 2004 RIO IOF WORLD CONGRESS ON OSTEOPOROSIS
Toronto selected as venue for 2006 IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis

NYON, Switzerland
March 5, 2003

Some 50 of the world's leading scientists have agreed to present the latest developments in osteoporosis diagnosis, treatment and epidemiology at the next IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 14-18, 2004.

The event, held every two years, is the largest scientific gathering of physicians and researchers specifically dealing with osteoporosis, often termed the "silent epidemic".

More than 5,400 people attended the last IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, held in Lisbon, Portugal in May 2002.

In announcing the speakers and subjects, Professor Rene Rizzoli, chairman of the 2004 IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis Scientific Committee, noted: "In the plenary lectures, international experts will present information about basic science and overviews of key topics, while oral presentations will give the opportunity to young scientists to present their latest findings. In the numerous Meet the Expert sessions participants will have the opportunity for direct interaction with experts."

In addition, pharmaceutical companies will offer 12 satellite symposia, many of which will announce new treatments.

"The 2004 event marks the first time a global osteoporosis meeting has been held in Latin America," noted Daniel Navid, IOF chief executive officer. "The region sees increasing rates of osteoporosis and we welcome the chance to work with our Latin American colleagues to bring more attention regionally to the disease."

To encourage people from the region to attend, Latin American residents can benefit from a special registration fee.

The 2004 IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis will be held in cooperation with SOBRAO-Brazilian Society of Osteoporosis.

Abstract submissions are now being accepted; deadline November 14, 2003.

Two valuable fellowships will be offered at Rio: the IOF Claus Christiansen Research Fellowship, value € 45,000, and the IOF-Servier Young Investigator Fellowship, value €40,000.

Accredited journalists will be offered free registration.

For further information, details of the scientific program, registration and electronic abstract submission visit www.osteofound.org or contact the Congress Secretariat at: info@osteofound.org

VENUE ANNOUNCED FOR 2006 IOF WORLD CONGRESS ON OSTEOPOROSIS

The 2006 IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis will be held in Toronto, Canada, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 21-25 April 2006, IOF's Executive Committee announced. The Osteoporosis Society of Canada will be IOF's national partner.

WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS?

With osteoporosis the bones become brittle and fracture easily. It is one of the world's most widespread and disabling diseases, affecting one in three women and one in eight men worldwide. Every 30 seconds someone in the European Union fractures a bone due to osteoporosis.

In many affected people, bone loss is gradual and without symptoms or warning signs until the disease is advanced. Osteoporosis is a global problem which is increasing in significance as the population of the world both grows and ages.

There are many misconceptions about osteoporosis, for example that it is "an old woman's disease". In fact, bone loss in women can begin as early as age 25. Worldwide, the lifetime risk for a woman to have an osteoporotic fracture is 30-40%. In men the risk is about 13%.

Osteoporosis is a widespread public health problem. The costs to national healthcare systems from osteoporosis-related hospitalization are staggering. For example, in several European countries, osteoporosis is responsible for more hospital days for women over 45 than any other disease. In the next 50 years, the number of hip fractures for both men and women will more than double. Even so, osteoporosis was not precisely defined as a disease until 1994. The World Health Organization (WHO) has since identified osteoporosis as a priority health issue along with other major non-communicable diseases.

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