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Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky Takes Steps to Fight Osteoporosis and Arthritis

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, April 29, 2008  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Fisher, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3325 and 4012  

Governor Proclaims May Bone and Joint Health Awareness Month

In recognition of May as Bone and Joint Health Awareness Month, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and Kentucky State University (KSU) are teaming up for an osteoporosis and arthritis event on May 7 at the Franklin County Extension Office.

The event will feature coupons for ice cream, other refreshments and health education materials to celebrate the observance, which was officially proclaimed by Gov. Steve Beshear.

“We have to act now to start curbing rates of osteoporosis and arthritis. Doing so means making an individual effort to improve our lifestyles,” said William Hacker, M.D., Health and Family Services’ acting undersecretary for health and DPH commissioner. “I hope you will join us on May 7 to learn more about preventing these diseases and how you and your loved one can keep bones healthy, especially getting enough calcium and regular physical activity.”

Across the country and in Kentucky, nearly one in two women and one in four men age 50 and older are at risk for osteoporosis. Kentucky has one of the highest prevalence rates of arthritis in the United States, with more than a million Kentuckians 18 and older being affected by the disease.

“Osteoporosis is not something that only senior citizens need to worry about,” said Changzheng Wang of the KSU Human Nutrition Program. “This day will be beneficial for school health officials, coaches and parents, because they need to begin equipping their children now with good nutritional and exercise practices to prevent osteoporosis and arthritis in the future.”

During the awareness event, participants will learn more about programs in DPH and at KSU that promote bone and joint health and educate Kentuckians about disease prevention.

“It will be a wonderful opportunity for participants to have free bone density and other health screenings, including body composition analysis and blood pressure measurement,” said Angela Deokar, coordinator for DPH’s osteoporosis prevention program. “Members of the public also can learn from research and Extension professionals about up-to-date information on osteoporosis and arthritis.”

The event, which will include numerous health information displays, will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at the Franklin County Extension Building. Coupons will be distributed for low-fat ice cream cones – a promotion called “Cones for Bones” – will be provided by McDonald’s, and other calcium-rich refreshments will be available.

For more information, contact Dr. Changzheng Wang, KSU Human Nutrition Program, at (502) 597-6097; or Deokar at (502) 564-7996, ext. 3679.



Last Updated 4/29/2008