THE HEART OF THE MATTER
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Transcripts: 568.4 & 568.5

Week: 568.4 Guest: Dr. Diane Schneider, Researcher, Univ. of California San Diego Topic: Study on estrogen's effects on osteoporosis (part one of two) Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: Studying estrogen and bone strength...coming up...

SPOT: NEMA...the National Emergency Medicine Association... fights our worst health enemies - heart disease, stroke, trauma. Call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: Dr. Diane Schneider and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego have been studying how estrogen therapy affects bone mass... and at what age should it be given....

SCHNEIDER: What the surprising finding was... was looking at the women who had started estrogen after age 60, taking it for an average of 9 years, had nearly the same bone density as women who had taken it more then double the amount of time.

NEMA: Another surprise was the lack of a long term benefit for having taken the treatment...

SCHNEIDER: ...women who had used it in the past for an average of 10 years, starting at menopause, and then stopping it - they had bone mineral density or bone mass that was not significantly different from women who had never taken estrogen.

NEMA: The study, which appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests the same osteoporosis slowing properties of taking estrogen therapy could be had by starting it after 60, rather than from menopause through late life. But more study must be done before that recommendation can be made. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.

Transcripts:

Week: 568.5 Guest: Dr. Diane Schneider, researcher, Univ. of California San Diego Topic: Preventing osteoporosis (part two of two) Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: Watching for osteoporosis...coming up...

SPOT: NEMA...the National Emergency Medicine Association... fights our worst health enemies - heart disease, stroke, trauma. Call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: Dr. Diane Schneider knows osteoporosis...her new study on the effects of estrogen therapy on bone mass is in a recent Journal of the American Medical Association. The professor of medicine at U. Cal. San Diego acknowledges the positive effects of estrogen and calcium supplements, but believes our approach must be preventative....

SCHNEIDER: But what's happened in osteoporosis because there's not that easy a measurement in the office... like a blood pressure cuff or a blood test, sort of the ravages of osteoporosis occur without anybody recognizing that the individual had low bone mass until a fracture occurs.

NEMA: And there is a test for osteoporosis...

SCHNEIDER: ... something called bone densitometry, which is usually done through something called a deximachine which is short for a long thing which is called dual-energy-xray-absorbgeometry. Simple, a very short test, takes less than 15 minutes.

NEMA: So, if osteoporosis is something Mom had to deal with, your first course of action may be asking your doctor whether you are a good candidate for the test...taking steps to prevent it from affecting you. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of The Matter.