The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3183.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 1:45 PM

Abstract #69567

Results of On-line Survey about Low Bone Mineral Density Among People with MS

Suzanne C. Smeltzer, RN, EdD, FAAN1, Thomas M. Stewart, JD, PA-C2, and Allen C. Bowling, MD, PhD2. (1) College of Nursing, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 09150, 610-519-6828,, (2) Rocky Mountain MS Center, 701 East Hampden Avenue, Suite 420, Englewood, CO 80110

Objective: The study was designed to identify frequency of osteoporosis risk factors and low bone mineral density (BMD) testing, and use of osteoporosis preventive and treatment strategies among people with MS. Background: Recent research reveals 1) that low BMD is common among people with MS and (2) that there is a lack of awareness of this issue among people with MS. Design/Methods: Using e-mail, a specially designed registry ( and a branched, web-based survey, self-reported data about osteoporosis were obtained from 1700 people with MS. Results: The most frequently reported osteoporosis risk factors were: being female, 82%; using steroids, 77%; consuming few dairy products, 57%; smoking, 50%; vitamin A supplementation, 40%; and decreased weight bearing, 38%. Of the 28% of respondents referred for BMD testing, nearly 90% complied. Of those who had BMD testing, 26% reported osteoporosis and 33% osteopenia. The treatments most frequently recommended by health care providers for low BMD were: calcium, 62%; bisphosphonates, 45%; weight-bearing exercises, 28%; vitamin D, 28%; and hormone replacement therapy, 18%. Of those with normal BMD, prevention strategies were: calcium, 43%; vitamin B12, 26%; vitamin D, 21%, magnesium, 20%; weight-bearing exercises, 20%, Conclusions: Too few people with MS may be using calcium (43%) and vitamin D supplements (21%) prophylactically, and many risk factors, such as consuming few dairy products (57%) and smoking (50%), are modifiable. In addition, too few (28%) may be referred for bone density testing. These results suggest the need for greater attention to this issue by people with MS and their health care providers.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Disability, Health Promotion

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Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Health and Wellness Promotion--Innovative Programs

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA