IOF LogoIOF World Congress on Osteoporosis 2004, May 14-18, 2004, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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LARGEST INTERNATIONAL OSTEOPOROSIS CONGRESS EVER HELD IN LATIN AMERICA OPENS IN RIO

Queen Rania congratulates delegates, but notes "there are many more lives that need our help"

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil
May 15, 2004

Noting that the fight against osteoporosis has "become a large global, social and medical movement", Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan today opened the largest gathering of osteoporosis experts ever held in Latin America.

In a video message broadcast to thousands of delegates gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis (IOF WCO), Queen Rania, IOF patron, noted that IOF is increasing its global outreach at a rate of 20% a year. She congratulated participants for "enabling people to stand tall", but noted "there are still many more lives that need our help."

The IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, held every two years, is the world's leading gathering of researchers and physicians devoted specifically to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis, a chronic disabling disease in which the bones become brittle and fracture easily, is often referred to as the "silent epidemic". It affects one in three women over 50, and one in eight men over 50, worldwide1.

IOF President Pierre D. Delmas reminded the congress delegates, who come from some 90 countries, that they "have a huge responsibility – to find ways to prevent, diagnosis and treat osteoporosis. We very much hope that the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis will make a huge difference in how we deal with this crippling and expensive disease that causes so much suffering."

Brazilian officials at the launch included Dr Sergio Luiz da Cortes da Silva, director of the National Institute of Orthopedic Trauma, representing Humberto Costa, the minister of health, and Maria Christina Boareto, Rio de Janeiro municipal health superintendant, representing Mauro Celio de Almeida Marzochi, municipal health secretary.

Dr Rubem Lederman, IOF Board member and executive president of the 2004 IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, noted: "It is appropriate that IOF has chosen to hold its bi-annual congress in Rio, in the heart of Latin America. This region will experience the greatest surge in osteoporosis fractures in coming years compared to other parts of the world." He noted that the Latin American region accounts for one in four hip fractures worldwide, and the number will increase to one in two within 50 years2. In Brazil some nine million people suffer from osteoporosis.

Rene Rizzoli, chairman of the IOF Committee of Scientific Advisors and chairman of the IOF WCO scientific program, highlighted the importance of the 48 oral presentations, 430 posters, eight satellite symposia and 17 Meet the Expert sessions that will be presented over the four-day event. "The IOF WCO will showcase the latest developments in the hard science of osteoporosis research and also provide physicians with the clinical skills they need to diagnose and treat the disease." He noted the Rio gathering will showcase more oral presentations than were featured at the previous IOF WCO, held in Lisbon, Portugal in May 2002.

For more information about the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, and to read the abstracts of presentations please visit: www.osteofound.org

1 Cooper C., Melton U.et al., Osteoporosis Int 2:285-289, 1992
2 Melton U, Chrischilles EA, Cooper C et al. How many women have osteoporosis? Journal of Bone Mineral Research, 1992; 7:1005-10

ENDS

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 165 member societies in 85 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(2). 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.

For more information on the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis, including access to all the abstracts and press releases, please refer to: www.osteofound.org

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

For further information, please contact
Paul Spencer Sochaczewski, Head of Communications,
International Osteoporosis Foundation:

Tel. +41 22 994 0100
Fax. +41 22 994 0101
E-mail: psochaczewski@osteofound.org

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