Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Loyola Physician Helps Develop National Guidelines for Osteoporosis

Recommendations provide diagnosis, treatment guidance for postmenopausal women

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) has released new medical guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Loyola physician Pauline Camacho, MD, was part of a committee that developed the guidelines to manage this major public health issue. These recommendations were developed to reduce the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures and improve the quality of life for patients. They explain new treatment options and suggest the use of the FRAX tool (a fracture risk assessment tool developed by the World Health Organization) and the National Osteoporosis Foundation guide to identify candidates for treatment. “Less than one-third of osteoporosis cases are diagnosed, and only one-seventh of American women with osteoporosis receive treatment,” said co-author Pauline Camacho, MD, director of the Loyola University Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease Center. “These guidelines use evidence to help physicians better identify and care for these women.” More than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and approximately 35 million more have low bone mass and are at increased risk for developing osteoporosis and fractures. Approximately 80 percent of these are women, most of them postmenopausal. AACE recommends that high-risk postmenopausal women should be screened immediately and all women ages 65 and older should be tested routinely for the disease. Hip fractures are the most serious complication of osteoporosis. Half of all patients who could walk independently are unable to do so one year after a hip fracture. A hip fracture leads to an increased mortality rate for two years following the break. More than half of the survivors are unable to return to independent living and many require long-term nursing home care. “These guidelines take into consideration the economic impact of the disease,” Dr. Camacho said. “They stress the need for efficient and effective evaluation and treatment of these women to prevent further complications from arising.” Treatment involves ensuring adequate intake of calcium, vitamin D and prescription medications as well as lifestyle modification focusing on exercise and fall prevention. The guidelines are available at www.aace.com. For more information, visit www.loyolahealth.org.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.