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Supporting people with osteoporosis

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    World Osteoporosis Day is held  every year on the 20th of  October. Osteoporosis is associated with more than 8.9 million fractures worldwide and yet there are many misconceptions about the disease which can be addressed through information and awareness campaigns.

    This annual event launches a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease.

    World Osteoporosis Day began with a campaign launched by the UK's National Osteoporosis Society, supported by the European Commission, in October 1996. It has grown significantly since then and now features activities in over 90 countries around the world.

    The global burden of osteoporosis continues to rise and by 2050, it is estimated that the worldwide incidence  just for hip fractures is projected to increase by 310% in men and 240% in women. This makes it increasingly important that osteoporosis and its consequences, is well understood and that misconceptions are rectified!

    Osteoporosis is sometimes thought of as 'a woman's disease'. However, one in three women over the age of  50 and one in five men over 50 will sustain an osteoporotic-related fracture in their remaining lifetime.

    This is also a misconception that breaking a bone after a minor fall is normal at any age. In fact, adopting a healthy lifestyle that also focuses on bone at all ages is the first step towards prevention. That means a diet that also includes recommended  amounts of calcium and vitamin D along with regular weight-bearing and muscle strengthening exercises, and avoiding adverse lifestyle habits; are all good steps towards potentially avoiding osteoporosis.

    To learn more about osteoporosis, visit the website of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), organisers of World Osteoporosis Day.

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