31st January 2020
EIT Health disease prevention project lead by Amgen screens thousands and raises awareness of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
#ProtectUrLife, an EIT Health-backed initiative to give free bone and heart screenings to citizens around Europe, has undergone a series of citizen awareness days to educate the public about preventable risks to their health.
Amgen, whose status was upgraded from an EIT Health Associate Partner to a Core Partner at the beginning of 2020, ran the EIT Health #ProtectUrLife project in 2018 and 2019. Other EIT Health partners involved were Technical University of Munich and the University of Barcelona.
#ProtectUrLife raises awareness and alerts individuals with a high risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Cardiovascular disease is a significant health challenge and is the main cause of death in Europe, while osteoporosis, which is characterised by low bone density, leads to fractures and other life-altering health problems. Both of these conditions are often preventable if people know how to protect their health through lifestyle measures such as healthy eating and physical activity.
Isma Benattia, M.D., Medical Vice President for Amgen in Europe, said of the campaign: “#ProtectUrLife aims to improve the prevention, assessment and treatment of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, two currently underdiagnosed and undertreated health conditions in Europe. Amgen advocates for a predict-and-prevent approach to healthcare, one that will intervene early in appropriate patients to improve outcomes and quality of life. Educational activities such as public screenings play a key role in advancing this vision.’’
To help citizens understand and manage the risks, #ProtectUrLife visits busy locations in cities around Europe to provide free screenings for bone density and heart health by using innovative digital systems. People were also able to speak to healthcare professionals and receive additional information on bone and heart health during the awareness days.
Last year, the initiative visited Lucerne, Malaga, Munich, Paris and Rimini. In 2018, ProtectUrLife visited Barcelona, Brussels, Munich, Nice, Rimini and Zurich. According to data on #ProtectUrLife 2018, compiled by Amgen and the University of Barcelona:
- A total of 23%of the 2,241 citizens receiving a FRAX assessment at the event were at high risk of a bone fracture over the next decade. Among women over age 65, the percentage was higher, at 8%.
- Nearly 10% of the 1,783 citizens who were screened and did not have a history of cardiovascular event were at high or very high risk of a cardiovascular event over the next decade. For men over 65, the percentage was higher, at 9%.
- For nearly one-in-three screened citizens, the 2018 #ProtectUrLife screening revealed a risk to their cardiovascular and bone health of which they were previously unaware.
- The vast majority of the participants (87%) agreed or strongly agreed that they learned a lot from the screening event and have received information that will help them protect their bones and heart.
- Most (68%) of the citizens previously ignoring their health risk said they would further discuss it with their doctor.