Tuesday, October 20, 2009


50,000 Scan Results Show Bone Disease is a Serious Health Issue

Results from the Anlene Bone Health Check showed that more that one third (approximately 20,000) of 50,000 volunteers screened, are at moderate to high risk of developing osteoporosis, the disease that leads to breaks and fractures in brittle bones. The results come on the eve of World Osteoporosis Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the disease.

The Anlene Bone Health Check is a free bone scanning program for adults, which took place across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. One in three women scanned in the UAE and nearly half the women in KSA had low bone quality and were at a high risk of developing osteoporosis related fractures.

Osteoporosis stems from a lack of minerals such as calcium in the bones, which is vital to maintain healthy bone mass. Common fractures or breaks due to osteoporosis can be in the hip or vertebral (spinal) bones. After hip fracture, 20% of cases can be fatal and 50% cause permanent disability.

Commenting on the results, Dr. Humeira Badsha, Consultant Rheumatologist at DBAJ, said “The previous year’s results in the UAE indicated a high prevalence of osteoporosis in the UAE, with 27% registering low bone mass. Anlene’s most recent results show that the situation remains dire and there is an urgent need to raise awareness, especially among women who are extremely susceptible to osteoporosis.”

Amr Farghal, Managing Director, Fonterra Brands Middle East, Africa and CIS, said that while the Anlene Bone Health Check results were alarming, they played an important role in building a better understanding of osteoporosis across the Middle East.

“Prevention is the only cure for osteoporosis, and the only way we can prevent it is through education and understanding. There is no doubt that this is becoming an important health issue in the region. At Fonterra, we will continue to help create awareness of this disease through our bone scanning programme, World Osteoporosis Day and our partnership with the International Osteoporosis Foundation, so we all have the knowledge to fight it.”

Since 2005, Fonterra’s Anlene dairy brand has conducted free bone scanning programs across Asia, a key step in the preventative approach to poor bone health. In the GCC, the program is conducted annually in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and provides people with the opportunity to learn more about osteoporosis and assess their current bone quality. By scanning a person’s heel using the GE Healthcare’s Achilles™ ultrasonometer bone scanning technology, the test estimates a person’s risk of poor bone health.

“Maintaining good bone health begins with good nutrition,” said Joanne Todd, Senior Health Platform Manager for Fonterra Brands, “Sufficient nutrients, like calcium, vitamin D, protein, zinc and magnesium, are essential for the maintenance and development of strong bones. Compliment this with regular exercise, and a person can prevent their bones from breaking down with age.”

Anlene, the only milk product clinically proven in to improve bone health in women, was first developed in Asia more than fifteen years ago as a nutritional dairy product for adults. It includes a formulation of calcium, vitamin D, zinc and magnesium, which together promote the effective absorption of bone nutrients, bone quality and helps prevent osteoporosis.

This bone scanning program will continue throughout October at key locations across the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

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