As we approach the age of 60, we find ourselves in the company of an iconic figure of the Baby Boomer generation—actress Sally Field. The ageless star, who represents the Baby Boomer generation that is now hitting the milestone of turning 60, has recently disclosed her battle with osteoporosis. She’s taking the lead in a public awareness campaign aimed at inspiring women to combat this debilitating bone disease.
Surprised by her own diagnosis of osteoporosis, Field decided to share her personal health journey with the world. She has launched the “Rally With Sally For Bone HealthSM” campaign, which is sponsored by Roche and GlaxoSmithKline. This initiative encourages women living with osteoporosis to take measures to protect themselves from fractures, allowing them to stay active and minimize the risk of debilitating injuries.
Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bones, making them more fragile and prone to fractures. Shockingly, one out of every two women over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporosis-related fracture in her lifetime. These fractures can cause significant pain, loss of height, and in some cases, limit a person’s ability to perform daily tasks such as dressing, standing, and walking. Moreover, they may lead to institutionalization or even be life-threatening.
Field, a two-time Academy Award winner renowned for her advocacy of women’s and workers’ rights, expressed, “My generation has tirelessly worked to bring about positive changes in the lives of women. Today, one of our most pressing challenges is our health. We’ve never been ones to sit back and accept defeat, and that includes osteoporosis. I urge women to take action by consulting their doctors.
Dr. Robin Dore, a rheumatologist and associate professor of medicine at UCLA, pointed out, “Today, women in their 50s and 60s lead more active lives than previous generations, making it crucial for them to prioritize bone health to sustain their active lifestyles.”
Field’s journey with osteoporosis began in early 2005. She initially attempted lifestyle changes, incorporating calcium and vitamin D, in a bid to slow down the progression of the disease. However, supplements alone proved inadequate. Her physician recommended medication and prescribed Boniva® (ibandronate sodium), a once-monthly tablet for postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Despite an estimated 44 million Americans being affected by or at risk for osteoporosis, the condition often goes undiagnosed until a fracture occurs.
A significant new campaign is now underway, aiming to protect and maintain women’s bone health.
Important Safety Information: Boniva is a prescription medicine for managing postmenopausal osteoporosis. It should not be taken if you have low blood calcium, cannot sit or stand for at least 60 minutes, have severe kidney disease, or are allergic to Boniva. If you experience difficult or painful swallowing, chest pain, or severe and persistent heartburn, stop taking Boniva and consult your doctor, as these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems. To minimize the chances of such events, follow the once-monthly Boniva 150 mg dosing instructions carefully. Side effects are generally mild or moderate and may include diarrhea, pain in the arms or legs, or upset stomach. If you develop severe bone, joint, and/or muscle pain, contact your healthcare provider. Your doctor may also recommend a calcium and vitamin D supplement.