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IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis will be first global conference held in the region to focus on brittle bone disease.

NYON, Switzerland
April 7, 2004

"Latin America will experience the greatest surge in osteoporosis fractures in coming years compared to other regions," predicts Rubem Lederman, Board member of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) from Brazil, and executive president of the IOF World Congress of Osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is reaching epidemic proportions, Lederman suggests. "This is why IOF has chosen to hold its bi-annual congress in Rio, in the heart of the region."

How serious is osteoporosis in Latin America?

  • Globally, over the next 50 years, the number of hip fractures for both men and women will double(1).
  • One out of every four hip fractures in the world occurs in Latin America and Asia. The number will increase to one out of every two fractures by 2050(2).
  • By 2050, it is estimated that Latin Americans will suffer 655,648 hip fractures, with a direct annual expenditure of USD 13,112,960,000 (USD 13 billion)(2).
  • In Brazil, just one out of every three people with osteoporosis is diagnosed, and of those just one out of five receive any kind of treatment(3).
  • In Brazil there are approximately 100,000 hip fractures annually(4).
  • Some 10 million Brazilians suffer from osteoporosis(5), 2.4 million people will suffer fractures each year, of these patients, 200,000 will die as a direct result of their fractures(6).
  • In Mexico, of the more than 24.5 million people who were diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis in 1998(7), only 150,000 patients, just one in 16, received treatment(8).
  • Mexicans suffer 100 femur fractures daily as a direct consequence of osteoporosis(9), with a minimum direct surgical cost of USD 20,000 per patient. That means some USD 730,000,000 is spent annually just on direct hospital costs, not including lost productivity, patient care and personal suffering(7).
  • In Chilean women older than 50, 22% have osteoporosis and 46% have osteopenia(10).

"Latin American physicians need to learn the latest developments in diagnosis and treatment if we are to professionally look after our patients," notes Gregorio Riera Espinoza, an IOF Board member from Venezuela. "In my country, for example, one out of six Venezuelans who suffer a hip fracture dies within the first four months. And by 2030 our people will suffer 67 hip fractures a day. We have a responsibility as physicians to do a better job to stop this suffering."

Jose Zanchetta, an IOF Board member from Argentina, adds that the IOF WCO program has been designed to provide useful lectures and training programs for regional physicians. He pointed out several highlights:

  • Densitometry Training
    Latin American participants can enroll in a special densitometry training course run by IOF and ISCD-International Society of Clinical Densitometry.
  • Latin American Seminar
    "How to make diagnosis and treatment more affordable in Latin America and worldwide?" This special seminar, scheduled for May 14, 2004, will specifically address problems faced by physicians and health policy officials in Latin America. (Translated into Portuguese and Spanish).
  • Special Workshops on Osteoporosis In Brazil
    Two special workshops, which will be held May 14, 2004, will be organized by Sociedade Brasileira de Endocrinologia and Sociedade Brasileira de Osteoporose. (These will be presented in Portuguese only.)
  • Special Fee for Latin Americans
    All participants residing in Latin America can benefit from a special, half-price registration fee.
  • Translations
    The IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis will provide simultaneous interpretation into Spanish and Portuguese of plenary sessions.


The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) 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 163 member societies in more than 80 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(11). 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.

1 Osteoporosis in the workplace et al.
2 Cooper C., Melton al., Osteoporosis Int 2:285-289, 1992
3 Zabaglia, Silval Fernando Cardoso, COSTA-PAIVA, Lúcia Helena Simões and Pinto-Neto, Aarão Mendes. Is Tubal Ligation a Risk Factor for a Reduction of Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women?. Rev. Bras. Ginecol. Obstet., Nov./Dec. 2001, vol.23, no.10, p.621-626. ISSN 0100-7203
4 Dr. Milton Artur Juiz, Brazilian Federation of Associations of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FEBRASGO) website
5 Revista Veja-edition 1658/July 2000
6 Jornal Riograndense, reference of the Brazilian Society of Osteoporosis (SOBRAO)
7 WHO Bulletin 843, 1994; Conteo Nacional de Población 1995
8 Gómez García F., IMSS Hospital de Traumatología (Magdalena de las Salinas)
9 Gómez García et al.
10 Arriagada M. y Arinoviche R., Galenus 1997, 34:33-36
11 Melton U, Chrischilles EA, Cooper C et al. How many women have osteoporosis? Journal of Bone Mineral Research, 1992; 7:1005-10

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