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Interactive Web Tool Offers Personalized Bone Check-Up

Armen Hareyan's picture

Bone Check-Up

National Institutes of Health Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases has launched a new interactive Web tool to increase awareness about bone health and osteoporosis and encourage people of all ages, especially those who don't think they are at risk for osteoporosis, to learn more about their bones. The Web tool, called Check Up On Your Bones, is a comprehensive online tool to help people assess their bone health and possible risks for osteoporosis. It is based on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General and designed to help people understand how the information in this important public health report relates to them. The tool is hosted by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a component of the National Institutes of Health.

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Visitors to Check Up On Your Bones are invited to fill out a 5-minute personal profile, which the Web tool uses to create individualized information about each person's risk factors for osteoporosis as well as those factors that protect their bones. The tool also generates personalized information on steps people can take to keep their bones healthy and prevent osteoporosis, a summary sheet to share with the doctor and a list of additional Web resources tailored to their profile.

The personal profile asks about factors related to people's risk for osteoporosis, including gender and age; family history of osteoporosis and broken bones; lifestyle habits, including diet and exercise; and other medical conditions and medications that can negatively impact bones. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become fragile and break easily, but it can often be prevented by being aware of one's risk factors and adopting lifelong habits to protect bone health.

"We tend to take our bones for granted and think osteoporosis will never happen to us," said NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D. "We think people who use this tool will learn a lot about their bones and many will be surprised to discover that they have some risk factors for osteoporosis. Hopefully, they will be motivated to take better care of their bones as a result."

The Web tool is designed for adults aged 19 and older. Information provided on the site is relevant for both men and women and for people of diverse races and ethnicities. The personal information that visitors provide on the Check Up On Your Bones Web site is private. It is not saved, and visitors are not asked for their names.