Who Knew Wine Could Prevent A Latino Epidemic?

?íDia de los Vinos! raises awareness & funds to fight a deadly disease that Latinos weren't supposed to have

By Marco de la Paz
Published on LatinoLA: September 16, 2009

Who Knew Wine Could Prevent A Latino Epidemic?

Or maybe the question is: How many of you knew that osteoporosis can lead to death?

The answers come together at the premier ?íDia de los Vinos! wine tasting fundraiser (see for the California Hispanic Osteoporosis Foundation that will be held on Nov. 7 at the swanky Casa del Mar Hotel by the Sea in Santa Monica. Wine won't stop osteoporosis in and of itself, but the wine fundraiser is a great start.

While many of us want to sample from the best collections of California wineries ever assembled for a benefit tasting (well, outside of Napa ÔÇô check out the list: /wineries.htm), I couldn't help but be astounded by the how at risk Latinos are of being debilitated or even dying from something that is preventable.

Everyone knows about breast cancer, but diagnoses of Osteoporotic fractures (not just the disease, but the actual fractures) out paces breast cancer by over 6 to 1 each year.

Compound that with the fact that at least 1 in 5 of those who suffer a hip fracture will die within one year and that is remarkable.

If that is not bad enough, every indication is that it will be worse for Latinos:
- Latinas are currently severely under-diagnosed
- Latinos are the fastest growing AND fastest aging demographic
- Separate research has shown that Latinos are showing significantly lower bone health at significantly younger ages

We're looking at an epidemic that is of diabetic proportions for Latinos. In fact, if you go back 15 years, there is a tremendous parallel in that both are under-diagnosed among Latinos, both are "silent" and progressive diseases that can end in death without screening and treatment and both are affecting Latinos at younger ages. In fact, there is research now ÔÇô it's still too soon to say for certain ÔÇô that has found a possible link between diabetes and osteoporosis.

Unlike diabetes, those with osteoporosis are more likely to become elderly dependants. This is a tremendous personal cost, as well as a cost to the government and healthcare system. In fact, the costs related to osteoporotic fractures among Latinos are expected to increase to $2 billion (with a "b") per year (yes, annually) by 2025.

And with the younger rates, we're actually talking about a lethal impact on the Latino workforce as it moves into its 40's. Yes 40's.

Contrary to common perception, osteoporosis is not an old person's disease or a normal part of aging. Therefore, hip fractures are not a normal part of aging either.

The only Latino osteoporosis organization providing education, screening, advocacy and research across all of California is the California Hispanic Osteoporosis Foundation (CHOF), a nonprofit, volunteer service organization. Their collaboration and leadership has helped identify effective ways to stop this trend before it becomes an epidemic. But they need support.

So if you would like to taste superb wine and save lives, we'll see you Saturday afternoon on Nov. 7 in Santa Monica.

?íD?¡a de los Vinos! will feature luscious tastings from the finest wineries, paired with Casa del Mar's own exquisite gourmet recipes. Along with bringing together the best wines and foods, ?íD?¡a de los Vinos! will bring together community leaders and socially-conscious businesses to support and raise money for the programs of the California Hispanic Osteoporosis Foundation (CHOF).

For more information go to or look in LatinoLA's Calendario.

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