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Fractures due to osteoporosis threaten seniors’ independence

25 October 2017 / by / no comments

Fractures due to osteoporosis threaten seniors’ independence

The Inter­na­tional Osteo­poro­sis Foun­da­tion and its mem­ber soci­eties world­wide empha­sis early prevention.

It’s invis­i­ble, and it’s dan­ger­ous. Osteo­poro­sis, which causes bones to become weak and frag­ile, only reveals itself when a bone breaks. In older adults that first ‘fragility frac­ture’ is often a bro­ken wrist, or sud­den back pain due to unde­tected ver­te­bral frac­tures. Sadly, the first frac­ture is often not the last – unless treated, a cas­cade of more debil­i­tat­ing frac­tures can occur.

Last week dur­ing World Osteo­poro­sis Day, there was a call to ‘Love Your bones – Pro­tect your future’ by the Inter­na­tional Osteo­poro­sis Foun­da­tion (IOF) and its 240 mem­ber soci­eties world­wide, empha­sis­ing the impor­tance of early pre­ven­tion as the key to healthy mobil­ity at older age.

Frac­tures due to osteo­poro­sis rep­re­sent a major health­care bur­den, caus­ing dis­abil­ity, pre­ma­ture death, and loss of inde­pen­dence in seniors world­wide. Glob­ally, one in three women and one five men over the age of 50 will suf­fer a fragility frac­ture in their remain­ing lifetimes.

IOF Pres­i­dent Pro­fes­sor Cyrus Cooper stated: “Osteo­poro­sis is a dis­ease which suf­fers from seri­ous neglect. Despite widely avail­able diag­nos­tic tools and effec­tive med­ica­tions, only a minor­ity of peo­ple at high risk of frac­tures are actu­ally diag­nosed and treated. As many as 80 per­cent of older adults who suf­fer a first fragility frac­ture – and are in extreme dan­ger of sus­tain­ing more frac­tures – do not go on to receive pre­ven­ta­tive treat­ment to pro­tect them­selves against the high prob­a­bil­ity of sec­ondary fractures.”

Hip frac­tures in par­tic­u­lar can be life-​threatening: approx­i­mately 20 to 24 per­cent of hip frac­ture patients die within the year after the frac­ture; 33 per­cent become depen­dent or in a nurs­ing home. Due to the growth of the age­ing pop­u­la­tion, the num­bers of hip frac­tures are ris­ing expo­nen­tially. From 1990 to 2050, hip frac­tures are pro­jected to increase by 310 per­cent in men and 240 per­cent in women.

To improve under­stand­ing of this pub­lic health threat, IOF has today issued a new resource, ‘The IOF Com­pendium of Osteo­poro­sis’. This com­pre­hen­sive ref­er­ence pro­vides con­cise infor­ma­tion about the dis­ease, its pre­ven­tion, and its preva­lence in all regions of the world. It also out­lines key strate­gies to fight osteo­poro­sis at the national level, pro­vid­ing a blue­print for eight pri­or­ity actions.

One of the pri­or­i­ties is the imple­men­ta­tion of Frac­ture Liai­son Ser­vices (FLS) in all hos­pi­tals that treat frac­ture patients. Such ser­vices are proven to be cost effec­tive ways to pre­vent sec­ondary frac­tures in these high-​risk patients. IOF also calls on every­one who is con­cerned about osteo­poro­sis patient rights to sign the online IOF Global Patient Char­ter. The Char­ter urges gov­ern­ments and health author­i­ties around the world to make bone health a pri­or­ity health­care issue.

Prof Cooper added: “Pre­ven­tion is key. At all ages, a healthy lifestyle with good nutri­tion and reg­u­lar phys­i­cal activ­ity lays the foun­da­tion for good bone health. As well, I urge all older adults to be aware of any per­sonal risk fac­tors for osteo­poro­sis. These can include a bro­ken bone after the age of 50, parental his­tory of osteo­poro­sis or hip frac­ture, loss of height, smok­ing, being under­weight, cer­tain dis­eases such as rheuma­toid arthri­tis, or use of med­ica­tions that cause bone loss (such as glu­co­cor­ti­coids). If you have risk fac­tors, be sure to talk to you doc­tor and ask for testing.”

To see whether you have risk fac­tors, com­plete the IOF One-​Minute Osteo­poro­sis Risk Test.



The International Osteoporosis Foundation and its member societies worldwide emphasis early prevention.

 

It’s invisible, and it’s dangerous. Osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and fragile, only reveals itself when a bone breaks. In older adults that first ‘fragility fracture’ is often a broken wrist, or sudden back pain due to undetected vertebral fractures. Sadly, the first fracture is often not the last – unless treated, a cascade of more debilitating fractures can occur.

Last week during World Osteoporosis Day, there was a call to ‘Love Your bones – Protect your future’ by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and its 240 member societies worldwide, emphasising the importance of early prevention as the key to healthy mobility at older age.

Fractures due to osteoporosis represent a major healthcare burden, causing disability, premature death, and loss of independence in seniors worldwide. Globally, one in three women and one five men over the age of 50 will suffer a fragility fracture in their remaining lifetimes.

IOF President Professor Cyrus Cooper stated: “Osteoporosis is a disease which suffers from serious neglect. Despite widely available diagnostic tools and effective medications, only a minority of people at high risk of fractures are actually diagnosed and treated. As many as 80 percent of older adults who suffer a first fragility fracture – and are in extreme danger of sustaining more fractures – do not go on to receive preventative treatment to protect themselves against the high probability of secondary fractures.”

Hip fractures in particular can be life-threatening: approximately 20 to 24 percent of hip fracture patients die within the year after the fracture; 33 percent become dependent or in a nursing home. Due to the growth of the ageing population, the numbers of hip fractures are rising exponentially. From 1990 to 2050, hip fractures are projected to increase by 310 percent in men and 240 percent in women.

To improve understanding of this public health threat, IOF has today issued a new resource, ‘The IOF Compendium of Osteoporosis’. This comprehensive reference provides concise information about the disease, its prevention, and its prevalence in all regions of the world. It also outlines key strategies to fight osteoporosis at the national level, providing a blueprint for eight priority actions.

One of the priorities is the implementation of Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) in all hospitals that treat fracture patients. Such services are proven to be cost effective ways to prevent secondary fractures in these high-risk patients. IOF also calls on everyone who is concerned about osteoporosis patient rights to sign the online IOF Global Patient Charter. The Charter urges governments and health authorities around the world to make bone health a priority healthcare issue.

Prof Cooper added: “Prevention is key. At all ages, a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and regular physical activity lays the foundation for good bone health. As well, I urge all older adults to be aware of any personal risk factors for osteoporosis. These can include a broken bone after the age of 50, parental history of osteoporosis or hip fracture, loss of height, smoking, being underweight, certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, or use of medications that cause bone loss (such as glucocorticoids). If you have risk factors, be sure to talk to you doctor and ask for testing.”

To see whether you have risk factors, complete the IOF One-Minute Osteoporosis Risk Test.

 


 

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