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Osteoporosis patients believe their condition is neglected

Scott Fleming, Global Communications & Company Reputation
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Scott Fleming, Global Communications & Company Reputation

Most people with osteoporosis believe their condition is neglected, and that it would be a higher priority if it affected more young people, according to a new UCB survey. The research is part of our ongoing contribution to bring value to people affected by serious diseases, including osteoporosis.

The results, based on a survey of 965 women over 60 with osteoporosis in 11 European countries, reveals considerable frustration among patients. Most respondents said they believe healthcare authorities are not doing enough to tackle fragility fractures and the devastating impact they can have on quality of life.

Key findings:
  • 65% said their condition is neglected
  • 83% agreed that healthcare authorities should do more to prioritise osteoporosis
  • 77% agrees that if more people aged under 60 suffered from osteoporosis it would be more of a priority
  • 58% said the impact of osteoporosis/fragility fractures is not fully understood or appreciated by their healthcare authority.
The survey also highlighted the impact of the condition on quality of life. In addition to broken bones, patients reported that osteoporosis causes them pain (83%), makes them feel depressed (57%), vulnerable (61%), and isolated (27%).

Of the women surveyed, over half said performing their usual daily activities (58%) and walking (56%) have become problematic due to their osteoporosis, and nearly a third (30%) said it impacted their ability to take care of themselves.

The condition can also affect patients’ ability to work. Almost one in five (17%) reported having to reduce their working hours, and one in 8 (13%) said the condition meant they had to give up work completely.

Experts agree: osteoporosis is overlooked
The findings echo concerns of leading experts in Europe. A UCB survey of bone specialists published earlier this year found that 66% see osteoporosis as a neglected condition. Only 10% of specialists agreed that osteoporosis and fragility fractures are currently given a high priority by their local health authority.

While patients and clinicians believe osteoporosis is not given sufficient attention, the disease remains a major burden on individuals and health systems. It is the most common bone disease in the world, affecting around 200 million people globally.

This number will rise as populations age. By 2050, the global population of older people is projected to more than double its 2015 size, reaching nearly 2.1 billion. With osteoporosis mainly affecting women over the age of 50, now is the time to act to ensure healthcare systems are prepared to give the condition the attention  it deserves.

At UCB, we will continue to play our part by raising awareness of osteoporosis, supporting the osteoporosis community, and delivering therapies that improve people’s lives.

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