In the UAE women over the age of 21 have taken advantage of painless ultrasound assessment which provides information on bone health and bone quality.
More than 124,000 women across the GCC have been assessed to see if they are at risk of developing the devastating disease osteoporosis, thanks to the free Bone Health Check program offered by Anlene, the brand of dairy products specially formulated for adults to help build healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis.
In the UAE alone, more than 43,000 women over the age of 21 from all backgrounds and nationalities have taken advantage of the painless ultrasound assessment, which provides information on bone health and bone quality. With World Milk Day approaching on 1st June, Anlene wants to encourage more women to take action to equip themselves with the knowledge to help prevent the onset of the disease, as prevention is currently the only cure. At the same time the brand is constantly looking for new ways to increase the participation and reach of its Bone Health Check program in the UAE.
Osteoporosis is particularly common amongst women, and is a disease often overlooked by society or regarded as just affecting older generations. Staggeringly, one in three women in the UAE over 50 could experience osteoporotic fractures. After a hip fracture, 20 percent of cases can be fatal and 50 percent cause permanent disability.
Dr. Humeira Badsha, Rheumatology Specialist in Dubai, and an Anlene Bone Health Ambassador, says these figures show a step in the right direction for osteoporosis-awareness. "The Middle East region has one of the poorest bone health records anywhere in the world and women need to take the initiative to get their bones scanned to ensure they are giving themselves every opportunity to help prevent osteoporosis.
"It is very sad that with one in three women at risk of developing the disease, most women in the region will find that a friend or family member will be affected by the disease, even if they take measures to protect their own bone health."
Worryingly, research has shown that bones can start to deteriorate even before the age of 30 , but by taking pro-active steps even more-mature women can prevent the deterioration of their bone health. Boosting calcium and Vitamin D intake as well as taking gentle weight-bearing exercise are regarded as key steps towards prevention.
Dr Badsha adds, "Vitamin D, which sunlight generates in your skin, is so important in helping to prevent the onset of the disease. As people living in the UAE spend little time outside, they do not receive the beneficial nutrients from the sun.
Kamal Gupta, Managing Director, Fonterra Brands, Middle East Africa and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) says Anlene is committed to helping to improve the region's bone health. "We have been offering free bone scanning for almost six years across Asia and the Middle East and reached more than four million women. Our Anlene team in Dubai will be offering bone scanning at hundreds of health events, malls and clinics throughout 2011.
"It's never too early to make a conscious decision to take proactive action against osteoporosis, and the sooner you make these decisions, the stronger your bones will be."
Anlene is a food brand supported by the International Osteoporosis Foundation and drinking just two glasses of Anlene each day gives your body one hundred percent of its required calcium and vitamin D intake.
Fonterra, the company behind Anlene, has spent more than US$54 million in the last decade to better understand osteoporosis and works closely with the International Osteoporosis Foundation to raise awareness. In the last three years, Anlene's bone scan program has conducted more than four million bone scans in Asia and the Middle East, as part of its research program to raise awareness of the growing incidence of osteoporosis in the region, which provides valuable insight into the state of bone health in the region.