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Free bone-density clinics for senior citizens will be held throughout Cattaraugus County beginning Sept. 30. The Cattaraugus County Department of Aging is sponsoring the clinics at various senior citizen nutrition sites. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. also is a sponsor.

The tests, which take less than a minute, are done on the heel. Each person tested will receive a written report of the results. The week before the testing, each site will conduct a video seminar program designed to educate senior citizens about osteoporosis. Free literature will be available during the presentations.

Cherianne Wold, director of the Department of Aging, noted the National Osteoporosis Foundation has claimed the only sure way to determine bone density and fracture risk for osteoporosis is to have a bone mass measurement, also called a bone mineral density test.

Osteoporosis is a disease in which bone becomes fragile and is in danger of fracture, typically in the hip, spine and wrist. Millions are at risk, and women are four times more likely than men to develop the disease.

Those older than 60 are eligible to take the tests, which will be performed between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following sites and dates:

Sept. 30, Masonic Temple in Portville; Oct. 4, Salamanca Health Care Complex; Oct. 5, St. John Fisher Church in South Dayton; Oct. 7, Cattaraugus Senior Center; Oct. 8, United Church of Christ, Ellicottville; Oct. 12, St. Pius the X Center in Delevan; Oct. 13, First Presbyterian Church, Franklinville; Oct. 14, Free Methodist Church, Gowanda; Oct. 18, Little Valley Municipal Building; and Oct. 22, Dow Building, Randolph.

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