If you’re nearing 60, you have some pretty good company. Actress Sally Field, the seemingly ageless icon of a Baby Boom generation that starts turning 60 this year, has revealed that she has osteoporosis and is leading a public action campaign to inspire women to fight the fragile bone disease.
Surprised by her recent diagnosis of osteoporosis, Field chose to go public with her personal health and is launching Rally With Sally For Bone HealthSM, sponsored by Roche and GlaxoSmithKline. The campaign encourages women with osteoporosis to protect themselves against fractures so they can remain active and reduce their risk of a debilitating injury.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become weaker, more brittle and susceptible to fractures. One in two women over age 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime, which can result in significant pain and loss of height and may possibly cause some women to lose their ability to dress themselves, stand up and even walk. It can also lead to possible institutionalization and even death.
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“My generation has pushed for so much change to improve the lives of women, and today the biggest hurdle many of us face is our health,” said the two-time Academy Award winner who has fought for women and workers’ rights both on and off screen.
“We’ve never been willing to sit back and take it-and that includes osteoporosis, too. I’m asking women to take action by talking to their doctors and joining me at www.BoneHealth.com.”
“Today, women in their 50s and 60s are leading more active lives than past generations, and it’s essential for them to take care of their bones to continue their energetic lifestyles,” said Dr. Robin Dore, a rheumatologist and associate professor of medicine at UCLA.
After being diagnosed with osteoporosis in early 2005, Field attempted lifestyle changes, including calcium and vitamin D, to slow the progression of her disease but supplements alone were insufficient.
Her doctor then recommended that she begin taking medicine and prescribed Boniva® (ibandronate sodium), a once-monthly tablet for postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Although 44 million Americans are affected by or at risk for osteoporosis, it often goes undiagnosed until a fracture occurs.
A major new campaign is under way to help protect women maintain their bone health.
Important Safety Information: Boniva is a prescription medicine for the management of postmenopausal osteoporosis. You should not take Boniva if you have low blood calcium, cannot sit or stand for at least 60 minutes, have severe kidney disease or are allergic to Boniva. Stop taking Boniva and tell your doctor if you experience difficult or painful swallowing, chest pain, or severe or continuing heartburn, as these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems.
Follow the once-monthly Boniva 150 mg dosing instructions carefully to lower the chances of these events occurring. Side effects are generally mild or moderate and may include diarrhea, pain in the arms or legs or upset stomach. If you develop severe bone, joint, and or muscle pain, contact your healthcare provider. Your doctor may also recommend a calcium and vitamin D supplement.