Regional bone, muscle and joint congress opens in Abu Dhabi

Opening of IOF Regionals 3rd Middle East and Africa Osteoporosis Meeting on December 5, 2015
Meeting hosted by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) in cooperation with the Emirates Osteoporosis Society to highlight the latest advances in the prevention, diagnosis and management of osteoporosis, including patients with diabetes.

The doors of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) opened on December 5th to leading musculoskeletal disease researchers and a wide range of health professionals who treat patients with osteoporosis and related diseases.

The delegates attending the IOF Regionals 3rd Middle East and Africa Osteoporosis Meeting will hear about the latest research and learn about new advances in prevention and diagnosis, osteoporosis management, secondary fracture prevention and bone care for diabetics. The Meeting is officially endorsed by Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and the Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA).

An audit report issued in 2011 by IOF in cooperation with national osteoporosis societies from 17 countries in the region showed that osteoporosis is a serious and growing problem throughout the Middle East and parts of Africa. This is due to the predicted demographic explosion in the number of people over the age of 50 in the coming decades. By 2050 it is expected that 40% of the population in the region will be over the age of 50, resulting in a surge in the number of fragility fractures and related disability. In several countries, including Lebanon and Jordan, the number of hip fractures is projected to quadruple.

Osteoporosis, which can result in painful and highly debilitating fractures, is a significant cause of disability and early mortality in the older population,”

said IOF President Professor John A. Kanis.

We hope that the new research findings and clinical advances presented at this congress will give delegates valuable insights for improved patient care and the targeted prevention of first and secondary fractures – including in diabetic patients.”

As the region's largest event in the field, the Meeting will feature more than 60 sessions, with a wide range of educational lectures and workshops. The Meeting has been designated for 18 European and 18.5 Health Authority Abu Dhabi Continuing Medical Education credits.

At the opening of the Congress the delegates were welcomed by Honorary Guest Speaker, Dr Mugheer Al Khialy, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Health Authority. Also speaking at the opening are Prof. Abdulrahim Al Suhaili, Meeting Co-chair and President of the Emirates Osteoporosis Society (EOS); Dr Madhat Khafajy, Co-chair of the Scientific Programme Committee; Prof. Serge Ferrari, Co-chair of the Scientific Programme Committee; and Prof. John A Kanis, President of IOF.

A unique feature of the Meeting is the Bone and Diabetes Pre-Meeting Workshop which tackles an issue of growing importance in the Middle East where diabetes is highly prevalent. Dr Maha Barakat, CEO of HAAD chaired the Workshop and gave a lecture. The relationship between diabetes and osteoporosis has, until recently, suffered from a general lack of attention and research. As a result, health professionals who treat patients with diabetes often do not recognize that fragility fractures are a major complication of the disease. The Workshop will help to raise awareness among participants by presenting the latest knowledge on the mechanisms, evaluation and management of bone fragility in diabetics.

Another special feature of the Meeting is the presentation of the prestigious IOF Young Investigator Awards to the five researchers under the age of 40 who have submitted the five highest ranking abstracts to the meeting. The investigators are also invited to attend a unique half-day mentoring programme where leading experts provide valuable feedback and interact one-on-one with the young researchers.

As President of EOS, Dr Abdulrahim Al Suhaili stressed the importance of the event as a key research and educational forum for doctors in the region. He stated,

Although it has a growing impact on the health and quality of life of our older population, osteoporosis is not adequately addressed during medical training in most countries. I hope that this Meeting will serve to advance health professional education and foster new interest in bone research within the region.”

The abstracts submitted to the meeting have been published in a supplement issue of the journal Osteoporosis International as follows:

IOF Regionals 3rd Middle East & Africa Osteoporosis Meeting
Organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation in Abu Dhabi from December 5-7, 2015, the IOF Regionals is one of the largest medical and research events dedicated to osteoporosis and related diseases in the region.