Dr. Marina Abdel Malak

is a Family Medicine Resident at the University of Toronto. She graduated and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and went on to study Medicine. She has a passion for medical education, patient empowerment, and increasing awareness about the relationship between mental, emotional, and physical health.


Abstract:Osteoporosis (OP) is the leading cause of hip fractures in patients. Primary prevention focusses on engaging in strategies that prevent the development of osteoporosis. Physicians often provide health information to patients on how to optimize their overall wellness, and therefore, ought to educate patients on bone health as well. Offering advice on specific interventions that decrease the risk of developing OP is an effective way to engage patients in maintaining peak bone mass. Physicians should counsel patients on key points such as dietary modifications, physical activity, and decreasing the use of alcohol and smoking. Setting mutual goals with patients and ensuring that they understand the positive impact this will have on their health is critical.
Key Words: Osteoporosis, bone health, health promotion, primary prevention, education.

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1) Educating patients about methods to decrease the risk of osteoporosis is a critical role of the physician, as peak bone mass develops in early adulthood
2) CALCIUM (see figure 4) is a mnemonic that can help physicians recall what strategies they can address with patients: calcium/vitamin D intake, aerobic activities, limit alcohol, cut down on smoking, increase balance, use supplements if indicated, and maintain a healthy weight
3) Physicians should provide patients with resources and referrals if appropriate to ensure patients receive adequate information/support in promoting their bone health
Patients should be advised that a vitamin D supplement is required to obtain the 1000-2000 IU daily requirement
A calcium supplement is not always indicated if dietary intake is adequate
Both aerobic and weight-bearing activities are essential for OP prevention
Smoking cessation and limiting alcohol are also factors that impact bone health
Patients should be encouraged to mutually set goals around bone health with their physicians, as this increases the likelihood that their behaviour changes will be successful
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