Mr. Speaker, November is osteoporosis awareness month. This disease, which makes bones more fragile and fracture-prone, affects more than 1.5 million people, primarily women, one woman in four and one man in eight in Quebec and in Canada.
This silent and stealthy disease has a high social cost. More than a billion dollars are spent annually on hospitalization, ambulance services and drugs to treat osteoporosis-related injuries. The total over 25 years will be in excess of $32 billion.
The physical and emotional suffering and the costs related to osteoporosis could be reduced, however, simply through prevention, particularly information, consciousness-raising and a healthy calcium-rich diet.
Osteoporosis is surely a good example of the old adage: "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".