West Virginia Osteoporosis & Arthritis Program

West Virginia Osteoporosis & Arthritis Program

Text Size

Our Mission

To reduce the prevalence of Osteoporosis and Arthritis in West Virginia by providing information on prevention and education, making available information on treatment, and lessening pain and disability by encouraging individuals to maintain productive lives.





Health Observances:

For a listing of physical activity- related observances and events, visit the PA links section of the following website  http://prevention.sph.sc.edu/PAlinks/index.htm

In the News:     

New Toolkit Available!  Preparing for Aging Boomers-- Center for Civic Partnerships

The first of the boomer generation will receive a social security check in less than one year.  This demographic shift will create significant consequences - both good and bad - for communities.

In response, the Center for Civic Partnerships has just produced a toolkit outlining a community-based planning process to promote healthy aging.  Aging Well in Communities: A Toolkit for Planning, Engagement & Action (link to
http://www.civicpartnerships.org/docs/services/CHCC/aging-well.htm) is a user-friendly guide to help local governments, human service providers, community groups and other partners plan now to address both the challenges and opportunities that are coming.  The toolkit is based on the Center's research and experience over the past several years assisting communities in planning for healthy aging. Other newsworthy information: In addition, Public Management magazine features an article addressing the topic in the May 2010 issue see http://icma.org/pm/9204/).

The Center for Civic Partnerships' mission is to provide leadership and management support to build healthier communities and more effective nonprofit organizations. Its parent organization is the Public Health Institute (PHI), one of the largest and most comprehensive public health organizations in the United States.

Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-being:
The newest edition of the Federal Interagency Forum of Aging-Related Statistics was released last month.
This is a periodic report that describes the  overall status of the U.S. population 65 years of age and older.  The report includes 37 indicators that are grouped into five sections: Population, Economics, Health Status, Health Risks and Behaviors, and Health Cares. You may download a  powerpoint presentation of the indicators at as well as the entire report.

You may also order a hard copy at


Tai Chi classes are held every thursday at the Mountain State School of Massage in Kanawha City from 6-7:30pm, Sunday 2-3:30pm and Monday 6 - 7:30pm in Dunbar, WV at the old Mountain State Outfitters Store across from the library.  Call Marshall Burgess, (304)421-5528 for more details. 


Fibromyalgia Self-Help Group

Meets on the 3rd Monday of each month from 5:30pm to 7pm



In Teays Valley

301-6 Great Teays Blvd. Scott Depot (beside Kroger)

with various speakers & special events!

Call Michelle Kosa at 757-6999 ext. 23

for Questions




The Strong Women & Men Fitness Program For Middle Age and Older Adults 

  • Reduce High Blood Pressure
  • Lower Blood Sugars
  • Strengthen Muscles and Bones
  • (Helping to prevent Osteoporosis)
  • Control Arthritis
  • Build Heart Rate

The benefits of strength training for women and men:

  • To increase strength, muscle mass, and bone density
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and arthritis
  • Aids in reducing depression and improving sleep

If You and Your Clients Want To Take Part

In This Program Please Contact:


Ahmed Witten - Extension Agent for Active Lifestyles - West Virginia State University:


Phone:  304-541-7239


Email:  awitten3@wvstateu.edu


For:  Middle age (32) and older adults


West Virginia State University Extension Service





4605 MacCorkle Avenue, SW
South Charleston, WV  25309


(304) 766-5444
Joint Connection - dedicated to helping patients get back to life...as it should be.

Pre and Post-Op Education
Physical Therapy
Family Participation


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF

HEALTH NIH News National Institute of Child Health and Human Development



New online resources stressing the importance of calcium for bone health are now available for middle and high school teachers. The resources areavailable through the Milk Matters calcium education campaign, sponsoredby the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of theNational Institutes of Health.

The new resources, available at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/milk/teachers feature fun, hands-on classroom lessons created to teach young peopleabout the importance of calcium for bone health.  The online lessons for teachers are part of the NICHD's "Milk Matters"calcium education campaign, which aims to increase awareness about theimportance of calcium in children's and adolescents' diets. The campaign encourages 11-to-15-year-olds in particular to consume sufficient calcium because these are the years of rapid bone growth.

"Teachers play an important role in raising awareness about healthy behaviors," said NICHD Director Duane Alexander, M.D. "The "Milk Matters"' Web resources offer teachers user-friendly tools that focus on the importance of calcium for bone health among tweens and teens, age groups that often don't get enough calcium to meet their needs."

"Milk Matters"' online lesson resources are designed to help students understand the importance of making smart food choices through calcium lessons, fact sheets, take-home assignments, and classroom discussion.  In "The Great Calcium Challenge", students learn to read nutrition labels and calculate their calcium intake. The "Calcium Collector" includes a game in which students choose a combination of foods that will provide 1,300 milligrams of calcium -- the daily recommended intake. Both lessons also reinforce students' math skills.

The Smart Snack Cookbook gives students an opportunity to create a recipe book of simple, healthy snacks, such as fruit smoothies. The lesson resources also include a lactose intolerance discussion guide to help teachers discuss the symptoms of lactose intolerance (stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and gas) and ways for reducing them. All of the materials are consistent with National Health Education Standards.  These Standards were developed by the American Association for Health Education, the American Public Health Association, the American School Health Association, and the Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation to establish, promote, and support health-enhancing behaviors for students in all grade levels.

In addition to teacher materials, the "Milk Matters" Web site offers a variety of free materials for parents and health care providers that emphasize the importance of calcium in the diets of children and teens, including a booklet, poster, fact sheets, a coloring book, and sticker.  Many of these materials are available in English and Spanish.  The "Milk Matters" campaign stresses low-fat or fat-free milk as an excellent source of calcium because:

-- milk has high calcium content in a form the body can easily absorb 
-- milk contains other nutrients, including vitamin D, vitamin A,
-- vitamin K, riboflavin, B12, potassium, magnesium, and protein, that are essential to healthy bone and tooth development
-- milk is widely available and is already a part of many people's diets. 

To download the classroom activities and other "Milk Matters" materials, or for more information on the "Milk Matters" campaign, visit <http://www.nichd.nih.gov/milk> or contact the NICHD Information Resource Center at 1-800-370-2943; >.

The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute's Web site at <http://www.nichd.nih.gov>.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- The Nation's Medical Research Agency -- includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.



New England Journal of Medicine
review concludes vitamin D deficiency is common yet preventable

The July 19, 2007 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine published a review authored by renowned vitamin D expert Michael Holick, MD, PhD, which concluded that vitamin D deficiency is widespread although easily prevented. An estimated 1 billion people have levels of the vitamin that are either insufficient or deficient. 
Dr Holick, who is a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, and director of the General Clinical Research Center at Boston University School of Medicine and Director of the Bone Healthcare Clinic at Boston Medical Center, introduces his subject by stating that "rickets can be considered the tip of the vitamin D deficiency iceberg." While reduced levels of the vitamin in utero and childhood can cause growth retardation, skeletal deformities and increased hip fracture risk later in life, a deficiency in adults can result in osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. 
Having insufficient vitamin D means that only 10 to 15 percent of calcium and 60 percent of the phosphorus we consumed are absorbed. Diminished absorption of these minerals is reflected in low bone mineral density, which is associated with fractures, decreased muscle strength, and falls. Individuals living at higher latitudes whose skin is unable to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D have been found to be at greater risk of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, colon, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, breast, and other cancers. 
Fortification of dairy products with vitamin D has helped lower the incidence of rickets, yet Dr Holick believes the current recommended Adequate Intakes for vitamin D need to be increased to at least 800 IU vitamin D3 per day. Greater amounts are needed to treat deficiency states or specific conditions.

"Providing children and adults with approximately at least 800 IU of vitamin D3 per day or its equivalent should guarantee vitamin D sufficiency unless there are mitigating circumstances, he writes. "Unless a person eats oily fish frequently, it is very difficult to obtain that much vitamin D3 on a daily basis from dietary sources. Excessive exposure to sunlight, especially sunlight that causes sunburn, will increase the risk of skin cancer. Thus, sensible sun exposure (or ultraviolet B irradiation) and the use of supplements are needed to fulfill the body’s vitamin D requirement," he concludes.



Multiple sclerosis

Vitamin D is emerging as a far more important immune system component than was previously appreciated. Long known to play a key role in the regulation of calcium and in the formation and maintenance of healthy bones, vitamin D is now known to influence cell differentiation, function, and survival (Montero-Odasso M et al 2005). In fact, the most bioactive form of vitamin D acts as a hormone in the body, and receptors for it have been discovered in a wide range of tissues.

Vitamin D may also be involved in preventing MS. This was originally inferred from epidemiological data. Scientists noted that MS is more prevalent in people living at higher latitudes (in either the Northern or Southern hemispheres) where sunlight is weaker, particularly in winter. The most bioactive form of vitamin D is generated in the body through a biosynthetic process that begins with, and is dependent on, exposure of bare skin to sunlight.

Scientists now believe that vitamin D (commonly depleted in people who have MS) may play a crucial role in preventing the disease (Ponsonby AL et al 2005a; Wingerchuk DM et al 2005). Low vitamin D levels are also an emerging risk factor for other diseases and disorders such as type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis (Holick MF 2005; Merlino LA et al 2004; Munger KL et al 2004; Ponsonby AL et al 2002; Ponsonby AL et al 2005b).



Greater vitamin D levels associated with protection from cardiovascular risk factors

A report published in the June 11, 2007 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that having higher serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with a lower risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and elevated triglyceride levels, all risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Researchers at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Harvard examined data obtained from 7,186 men and 7,902 women enrolled in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), conducted from 1988 through 1994. Blood samples were tested for serum vitamin D, cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood glucose and other factors, and height, weight, body mass index, and blood pressure were determined. Interviews with the subjects confirmed pre-existing diabetes and hypertension.

Mean serum vitamin D levels, particularly in women, people aged 60 and older, and minorities, were well below the recommended national goal. The team found significant relationships between lower vitamin D levels and the presence of cardiovascular disease risk factors. Participants whose vitamin D levels were in the lowest one-fourth of the study population had a 30 percent greater risk of hypertension, a 98 percent higher risk of diabetes, more than double the risk of obesity, and a 47 percent greater risk of having high serum triglyceride levels than subjects whose vitamin D levels were in the top 25 percent.


New Ergonomic Digging Tools Available for Loan

 NRG Radius* recently unveiled a line of seven stainless steel mid-length tools, including spades, forks, shovels, weeders and planters. All of these have large, cushioned circular handles that allow a greater range of natural hand positions, with enough space for both hands. The steps are larger, higher set, and slightly offset from the shaft, which provides the user with a wider step for more secure foot placement. To learn more, visit www.radiusgarden.com. The tools can be purchased from Lee Valley Tools, as well as from a small number of garden stores around the state. To borrow the digging spade or digging fork from West Virginia AgrAbility's Morgantown office, please visit the West Virginia Assistive Technology Loan Library at www.cedwvu.org/programs/wvats/virtuallibrary.html or call 800-841-8436.

From Do-it-Yourself Floodgates to Storage Ideas: Handy Devices Now Available On-line

Fans of 'Progressive Farmer Magazine' already appreciate the monthly column on handy devices, submitted by the readers themselves. Entries featured in the Handy Devices section are ingenious ways to save time and money while helping you get things done and stay organized on the farm. Ideas featured previously this year include the multipurpose gate, in which two gates are mounted to the same post-- one is regular and the other contains calf-sized openings, and either both gates or one can be used simultaneously. You can view several of these reader-submitted handy devices at www.progressivefarmer.com/farmer/diy/handydevices/
Also, check out Lee Valley online for ergonomic gardening tools at: 

If you are interested in just 'browsing,' the best thing to do is clickon catalog request so that you can actually leaf through the paper version.

'Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities': New Book Available for Free Download

Hesperian Publishing has announced availability of a new book, 'Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities,' which is available for free download from their web site. The book provides basic information to help women with disabilities stay healthy, and will also help those who assist women with disabilities to provide good care. The book was written by Jane Maxwell, Julia Watts Belser and Darlena David, with contributions from organizations around the globe, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. It features some wonderful illustrations based on interviews with women with disabilities in many different countries.

Quoting the book's foreword, "Women with disabilities can take charge of their own health when they have information that affirms their own experience of their bodies and health needs. They can also use this information to change the way people think about disability. As women with disabilities take charge of their lives, they will gain respect and support in their communities."
You can learn more about the book, and download its chapters, by visiting www.hesperian.org/publications_download_wwd.php  

Hot Enough For Ya?: Avoiding Heat Stress During Summer Work 

A number of physiological problems are related to the buildup of excessive heat in the body, many of which we experience this time of year when working outdoors. They range from annoying skin rashes to potentially fatal heat stroke. "The secret to our survival in the heat lies in our ability to maintain our core temperature at a constant level. Any physiological or environmental factor that tends to increase that core temperature is a potential cause of heat stress. When we experience an adverse health effect because of heat stress, we experience heat strain." The science of work-related heat strain relies on a person's metabolism, weight, age, fluid and salt levels, body size, and work rate. Thankfully, California agricultural trade association and the UC Berkeley College of Natural Resources have created a brief, bilingual fact sheet to help farmers and farm workers avoid heat stress. You can download and print the attached PDF, or visit http://news.ucanr.org/mediakits/Heat/heat.shtml to view this and other heat stress resources.

 The West Virginia AgrAbility E-mail Update is part of the West Virginia AgrAbility Project, a partnership between:

--WVU Extension Service, Safety & Health Extension  www.wvu.edu/~exten/depts/she/she.htm
-Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living  www.nwvcil.org--West Virginia Assistive Technology System at the Center for Excellence in Disabilities 
 www.cedwvu.org/programs/wvats and
the National AgrAbility project




The Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education and The Chatham Institute invite you to participate in a (FREE) CME course that consists of a series of cases involving patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  The cases will include differential diagnoses, pathogeneses, and treatment approaches.  The cases will illustrate the role of the primary care provider and the rheumatologist in the management of this disease.  This interactive course guides the participant through clinical material in an engaging and thought-provoking fashion.

Learning Objectives:
  • To improve the differential diagnosis in RA
  • To highlight th role of the rheumatologist and primary care physician in the diagnosis and management of the patient with RA
  • To increase knowledge of the effectiveness of earlier interventions in RA
  • To improve knowledge regarding effectiveness and toxicity of ddrugs used in RA therapy


For more information, contact: http://cmeonline.med.harvard.edu/info/RAPID/.




West Virginia Bureau for Public Health • 350 Capitol Street • Room 206 • Charleston, WV 25301
phone: 304-558-0644 • fax: 304-558-1553

Copyright (c) 2014 West Virginia Osteoporosis & Arthritis Program
Privacy StatementRegisterLogin