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How the Japanese Osteoporosis Foundation works


Автор публикации: Victoria Sotkova, Galina Evstifeeva Найти все публикации автора

Опубликовано: 24/04/2017 08:54

How the Japanese Osteoporosis Foundation works

Specialists call Osteoporosis a «silent illness» of the century, which sneaks up unnoticed and carries growing health problems with age, which can lead to complete immobility. This puts a heavy burden on loved ones, causes great suffering to the sick and is of great importance in the changing world, because there is a tendency of aging of the population in all countries. 

Therefore, it is necessary to prevent the disease from childhood (nutrition rich in Ca and vitamin D, exercising), to  know the methods of diagnosis and the possibilities of medicine in this matter. It is important to diagnose the problem with bone mineral density( BMD)  in time and not to stop treatment prescribed by a specialist.

Doctors of the world have united in the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), which includes national societies of different countries dealing with the problem of osteoporosis. The fund coordinates the activities of public organizations of patients, volunteers and active people who educate and raise public awareness of the problem of osteoporosis. The public and specialists take part in congresses and seminars, where doctors get acquainted with the latest achievements in the scientific world of treatment, and public figures share their experience in informing society in various ways. Every year IOF gives guidelines to hold World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) in different countries of the world on October, 20.  Our questions are answered  by Shigeyuki Ishii, Ph.D.Vice Executive officer? Japan Osteoporosis Foundation.

- Please, tell us about the Japanese Fund.

- The fund was established on September 27, 1991 and is located in Tokyo, established by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The activity is devoted to a nationwide fight against osteoporosis, known as a "silent illness". The task is to disseminate information about the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, associated with aging. The Foundation also subsidizes research and collects information on the disease at the national level, studies international experience, works to prevent the consequences of fractures, including those affecting the health of older people that affect their quality of life. Since its inception, there have been three presidents: Masami Yoshikawa (1991-1997), Takuo Fujita (1997-2001), Hajime Orimo (2001 to present). The president of the foundation is also a board member of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (JOF, headquartered in Switzerland).

Please,  tell us about the situation with osteoporosis in Japan.

The President of the Foundation, Dr. Orimo, noted the trend of a fast aging society:" The aging of the population in Japan is estimated to have reached 26.0% in 2014 and will reach 39.9% in 2060. The average life expectancy is the longest in the world for both men and women, but the citizens desire is not only to live long, but also to live an independent life. Measures against diseases of the musculoskeletal system are important for prolonging the duration of a healthy life, and osteoporosis significantly reduces the activity and quality of everyday life, becomes the main cause of death. "

People learn more about the disease, but they know little about prevention. Against the background of an aging population in Japan, the number of patients with osteoporosis has increased threefold between 1987 and 2012, and it continues to grow, and screening for osteoporosis is about 4% on average in the country. In case of need of care after the fracture of the hip, the 5-year cost of care for the patient is estimated at 14.5 million yen. To reduce these fractures caused by osteoporosis, the urgent task is to increase the level of medical examinations, the regularity of treatment and compliance with its regimen.

The Foundation works to improve peoples health, conducts educational activities and raises awareness of osteoporosis, places brochures on its website with a set of exercises, recommendations on the use of food and indicating how much they contain Ca or Vitamin D, etc. We strive for people to get the right knowledge, to prevent the disease, as soon as possible. We are provided with donations by individuals and legal entities, we issue a certificate to them, which they use to receive the tax deduction provided by law.

- What are the problems in the field of prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in Japan?

- We believe that the gap in treatment is the most serious problem. In Japan, the number of patients with osteoporosis is about 12.8 million. Among them, only 25% of patients are diagnosed and treated. Although there are different drugs for successful treatment.

- Who pays for the treatment of osteoporosis, the consequences of osteoporosis?

-In Japan, the National Health Insurance System is available to the entire population, and patients pay between 10 and 30% of these treatments, depending on their income or age. A study of osteoporosis is conducted by the community for women (40 to 70 years) in postmenopause at the age of every five. The examination is free, but the ratio of the subject in the population is only 5%.

- Who helps the Foundation in its work?

-We support some scientific researchers every year for conducting clinical and basic research, and we support various bone health clubs (for example, Osteoporosis and Lifestyle Network, Tokyo Bone Health Club, Niigata Bon Health Club, Orthopedic Protection for the Elderly and others.10 Clubs are united in the association) in order to preserve their opportunities for carrying out events or campaigns on osteoporosis. We are working with the population to raise awareness about the disease.

- Does the Foundation use the experience of other countries and the recommendations of the International Foundation of Osteoporosis (IOF)?

- Yes, we apply the successful experience of other national societies in our work, we are at international events, we communicate with representatives of other countries. Information about the campaign of the World Day Against Osteoporosis (WOD), held in other countries, and the IOF is very useful for planning our own campaign.

- How do the Japanese fight with a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D? What foods rich in calcium do you recommend?

- The national dietary intake is officially declared a priority by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Welfare. We studied the consumption of calcium and vitamin D. We produce leaflets with information to stimulate the consumption of foods containing Ca and vitamin D. First of all, we recommend milk, cheese, some fish, vegetables, beans that contain Ca and fish, Such as a salmon or a brouwort, mushrooms containing vitamin D.

-  How do you conduct the campaign of the International Day Against Osteoporosis, which is celebrated annually on October 20 (WOD)?

- At present we are preparing an action plan for 2017. Last year, conducted educational activities and a seminar. Lectures were given at the Tokyo University Club: «Love Your Bones»«Protect Your Future»«Learn Your Bone Health»  Yasuhiro Takeuchi, MD and member of the JOF Council, «Increasing the expected life expectancy and measures against osteoporosis» Keisuke Kurimoto, Department of Health, Health Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. The National Bone Health Club held a public campaign «Sugamon Project»: in the Sugamon Park, FRAX testing was conducted, it was possible to weigh, measure the growth and force of manual capture, and educational leaflets were distributed. In providing tents, tables and chairs, Sugamo Market Place helped us. (Ed.) This is a shopping area that is oriented to servicing the elderly, where they sell clothing, food, in the center of the market is a temple with a revered statue of the Bodhisattva Jizo, to which small towels are applied, and then they rub the places that hurt).

A public lecture was held at KFC Holl (Kokusai Fashion Center Hall-Tokyo Fashion Center for events and conferences). Speakers: President of the Foundation Dr. Orimo, Dr. Okano, obstetrician-gynecologist, lecture on physical health with a demonstration of exercises to maintain a healthy long life was read by Ms. Obara, an instructor and exercise counselor, Lecture on longevity delivered a lecture by Dr. Tsukahara and in conclusion was delivered by Dr. Hosoi, Chairman of the Board of the Tokyo Bone Health Club.

The events involved: pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of medical equipment, milk producers. A press conference was held at the Club of Tokyo University (Ed., -The Tokai University Club at Kasumigaseki Build 35th floor, the venue for the events). Media representatives were covered by the events, a number of articles were published in publications covering a wide range of osteoporosis problems and different readership.

- How is enlightenment work organized?

- These are educational lectures, conducted by a doctor, master classes on muscle strengthening by a physiotherapist, dieticians recommendations. Some seminars demonstrate demonstrations of densitometry (BMD) measurements, most lectures are free (sometimes a minimum registration fee), some pharmaceutical or dairy companies display exhibition stands, most of the seminars are conducted by volunteers, including speakers. Activities are usually held in the halls of the medical association and the university. On our website there are links to related societies, for example, «Society of obstetrics and gynecology» , «Society of endocrine diseases» , «Japanese clinical orthopedic council» , «Museum of video about science» , etc.

- We were glad to introduce the experience of the foundation.

- We would like to maintain contacts with other societies included in the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), because together we work against osteoporosis: to better understand people about osteoporosis, lets build a correct model of longevity and health together.

Victoria Sotkova

We thank  Dr. Shigeiuki Ishii for the valuable  information  

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