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Osteoporosis in Portugal May 23, 2008

Posted by tomography in Osteoporosis, Vacation.
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Between the 7th and 14th of may, I had the pleasure to visit the great Portugal. During my vacation I visited the city of Cascais that is situated right next to the Atlantic Ocean. As all good travelers do, I spent most of my time on the beach just lying around, getting a decent suntan, when I noticed the following sign and machine. It looks as if someone took the gym and put it right on the beach where the weather is better than inside and there is much more sunshine. What is interesting about this machine, is that it is not supposed to help you build great quantities of muscle, but it is a tool for preventing osteoporosis. And there are several of these per mile, and all of them work in a different way. I found the fact that they provide a decent length of information and some graphics quite ingenious, though I could not read it myself. So the question that popped into my head was: who started this, and why?

The good old Internet gave me the answer to that one as well. Here is an excerpt from a study that was featured in the 2001 September issue of the Bone.

OP is a serious public health problem in Portugal with very high human costs (mortality, morbility, disability) and social and economic costs, with a clear tendency to worsen significantly in the future. This justifies the implementation of preventive measures and the planning of adequate care.

And here are the numbers for Portugal for 1989:

Incidence of proximal femoral fracture (PFF) was 297 per 100,000 female inhabitants and 136 per 100,000 male inhabiatnts over 50 years of age.

This is a clever way to educate about and persuade people to do more for their health. I wonder how successful they are. If anybody knows, please share!

Further reading:

– Andras