Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell’s cosponsoring legislation that he hopes will increase the number of Americans who get a bone density test to judge whether they have osteoporosis. Boswell may also seek to force insurance companies to cover bone density tests, which can cost up to three-hundred dollars. He says that’s much cheaper than waiting ’til the problem manifests itself in a broken hip.”It’s a big cost and there’s a lot of pain and suffering” caused by osteoporosis, according to Boswell. Carol Voss, a nutritionist for the Iowa Department of Public Health who is the past-president of the Iowa Osteoporosis Coalition, says the disease is of “urgent concern” in Iowa. Voss says osteoporosis tends to strike late in life, and preventing the loss of bone density should be a high priority for people at a young age. Experts say consuming three servings of dairy products and engaging in moderate to vigorous exercise each day will help stave off the disease. How many Iowans have osteoporosis? Voss says the experts estimate over half a million Iowans have osteoporosis or low bone mass. “It’s something that needs our attention,” she says. The Iowa Osteoporosis Coalition surveyed Iowans recently. They found only one-fourth of Iowans got three servings of dairy products daily. But she says they were encourage that at least 20 percent of those surveyed said their doctor had talked with them about the disease. Voss says the general consensus is that people should have a bone density test when they reach the age of 50.
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