Posted by: bpsoshmhd | June 20, 2008

Tin Tức – News: HAPI Delivers Bone Density Screening

FALLS CHURCH, VA June 20 – The average Vietnamese American is more vulnerable to experiencing bone loss than his or her peers from other ethnic groups, and that vulnerability may increase during their senior years.

In that light, it is particularly important that over 60 people in the Falls Church, VA area received a free bone density screening at a May 15 event held by Boat People SOS (BPSOS) and sponsored by Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals and Family Health. Participants in the screening were mostly 40 years old and up, and ranged in age to as high as 71.

“We’re especially grateful to doctors Connie and Anna Le and their staff, who supported BPSOS by closing their doors for four hours to do the bone density screenings for the community,” said Alexia Dinh, the event organizer and program coordinator for the Health Awareness Program for Immigrants (HAPI). “The doctors took time to consult with attendees about their screening results, wrote prescriptions, and gave samples to attendees who were at moderate to high risk for osteoporosis.”

“Without the committed support of the doctors and their staff and the sponsorship of Proctor & Gamble, the event couldn’t have happened. Proctor & Gamble provided us with a technician, Ms. Sturgall, who did the bone density test, as well as food for volunteers and goodie-bags for attendees,” added Dinh. “More than 60 people in the community got this very important screening for free because of committed doctors and organizations in the community willing to lend a helping hand.”

More than 30 percent of all Asian women in the US can expect to be affected by osteoporosis, including having a spinal fracture, after age 60, according to some studies. In fact, they are more likely to face these problems than some of their counterparts in other ethnic groups. Experts now recommend bone density screening for:

All women over age 65.

  • Any postmenopausal women under 65 years with one or more risk factors for osteoporosis (e.g., being thin, being a smoker, having a family history of fractures, using corticosteroids for longer than three months, or any serious high-risk condition, such as hyperthyroidism or malabsorption).
  • Any older man or woman who suffers a fracture. (Unfortunately, studies suggest that only a minority of these patients are evaluated and treated for osteoporosis. Men are especially less likely to be tested.)

HAPI’s staff strives to address the barriers that prevent access to information about various health issues affecting Vietnamese Americans, including osteoporosis. These barriers include language, culture, and difficulty navigating the healthcare system.

“We implement several programs to appropriately raise awareness and encourage healthier behaviors within the community,” said STEP program coordinator Xuan Le. “The bone density screenings fit perfectly into that mission, and we appreciate the sponsorship of Proctor & Gamble Pharmaceuticals and Family Health in making them a reality.”

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