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Story Reveals How Isabel and Her Family Learn About Bone Health and Osteoporosis

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Meet Isabel, a busy, active 50-year-old Hispanic woman who has a job; cares for her elderly mother, husband and teenage son; and enjoys being a grandmother to her daughter's son. Suddenly, though, her life changes when she falls and breaks her wrist, and her doctor tells her she has osteoporosis. Although Isabel is not a real person, her story is typical of many women like her.

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Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease. It makes bones weak and more likely to break. Half of all women and one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis during their lifetime. Osteoporosis is more common among women and older people, but it can strike at any age and affects both women and men of all races and ethnic groups, including Hispanics.

The good news for Isabel -- and for everyone -- is that it is never too late or too early to take steps to protect your bones. That's why the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has developed the bilingual publication La historia de Isabel/Isabel's Story. It uses an engaging storybook format, colorful illustrations, and easy-to-read text to talk about bone health and osteoporosis.

"Hispanic women need to be aware of bone health and osteoporosis for themselves and their families," according to NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D. "Isabel's Story explains in a culturally relevant and entertaining way why Isabel and others may be at greater risk for osteoporosis and how to make bone health important for everyone in the family."

In La historia de Isabel/Isabel's Story, the lessons Isabel learns the hard way -- after breaking a bone -- are ones she can share with her family. Her husband, children and grandchildren will learn how to protect their bones through better nutrition and increased physical activity. Her mother, who has some of the warning signs of osteoporosis, will see her doctor for a diagnosis. And Isabel will learn ways to take better care of her bones and avoid breaking more of them in the future.

This 44-page booklet offers La historia de Isabel in Spanish and Isabel's Story in English in a back-to-back format. It is available on the Internet at (English) and opo rosis/isabel_espanol.pdf (Spanish). Free copies also are available by contacting the NIH National Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center at 1-800-264-2663 in Spanish or English or using the online order form at

The National Resource Center is supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases with contributions from the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, and DHHS Office on Women's Health.

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health (NIH), is to support research into the causes, treatment and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For additional information, call NIAMS' Clearinghouse toll free at 1-877-22-NIAMS, or visit the NIAMS Web site at

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