Health minister strengthens bone health research
A McMaster professor is part of a team that has received $7 million for research that will improve Canadians’ bone health.
Federal Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq was on campus last week to announce three national research awards.
Joy MacDermid, a professor and assistant dean of McMaster’s School of Rehabilitation Science, along with researchers at the University of Toronto and Simon Fraser University, received the funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
“Our government is committed to helping Canadians lead healthy, active lifestyles,” Aglukkaq said. “I am pleased that we are supporting research to help people maintain strong bones, providing the foundation for healthy lives.”
MacDermid’s research team will examine the extent to which a bone must be displaced before it requires surgery, conduct studies on how to best screen for fracture risks and how to use these screening methods in everyday practice.
Broken wrists are quite a common injury, MacDermid said, adding that it’s a mistake not to take the injury seriously as many people end up with chronic pain or arthritis. People with wrist fractures are also at higher risk for future broken bones, such as shoulder or hip fractures.
“We do not want to use costly investigations or treatment when they are not needed; nor do we want to miss potential problems like chronic pain, arthritis or osteoporosis that is best managed in the early stages, when treatment is easiest and most effective.”
Broken bones may scare some people, limiting their physical and social activity, however physical activity is very important for overall bone health, said MacDermid.
MacDermid’s team will work directly with orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapists and occupational therapists and their professional associations to share knowledge about the best management of wrist fractures. The team will also work with Osteoporosis Canada and share the knowledge with clinicians and patients.