Bone health organizations around the globe mark World Osteoporosis Day

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IOF and its member societies around the world call for action to fight the growing human and socio-economic burden of osteoporosis.
World Osteoporosis Day poster

World Osteoporosis Day 2008 (WOD), under the banner “Stand Tall: Speak out for your Bones” is a ‘call to action’ to the global osteoporosis movement. It is imperative that governments and health authorities recognise osteoporotic fractures as a major cause of suffering, disability and death, particularly in the older population. To mark this occasion IOF published a [link 847]new report,[/link] which highlights the socioeconomic cost of osteoporosis and calls for health policy change to improve the prevention and management of this debilitating disease.

The costs of fractures to healthcare services exceed those of many other major chronic diseases. Furthermore, because of the increasing number of elderly people in the population, the number of fractures due to osteoporosis is set to increase two- to three-fold over the next few decades. It is expected that by 2050, hip fracture incidence in North America and Europe will double, in Asia it will increase five-fold, and in Latin America it could increase by as much as seven-fold. Currently, one in three women (more than for breast cancer) and one in five men (more than for prostate cancer) , will get osteoporosis. This imminent increase in the number of people affected poses a major challenge to healthcare systems throughout the world.

World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) provides an all-important focal point for informing and educating the general public and policy makers about the prevention of a disease which still suffers from poor general awareness. In a message issued for World Osteoporosis Day, IOF President John Kanis said, “Osteoporosis must be recognised as a healthcare priority. More needs to be done to promote prevention of the disease, and early detection and reimbursement of much needed therapy should be available to those at risk of fracture.”

Today 188 patient and medical societies, in 91 locations around the world will be celebrating World Osteoporosis Day by holding various public events, from seminars and workshops to public walks and health fairs. IOF urges you to “Stand Tall: Speak out for your bones”, by taking responsibility for your bone health and by supporting the important work and advocacy efforts of your [link 68]national osteoporosis society[/link].

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The World Osteoporosis Day 2008 campaign is supported by unrestricted educational grants provided by Global Gold WOD Sponsors: Fonterra Brands, Lilly, Novartis, Tetra Pak

Statements from IOF Corporate Partners on World Osteoporosis Day

Fonterra Brands
“We are committed to the fight against the social and economic impacts of osteoporosis worldwide,” Pradeep Pant, Regional Managing Director Asia-Middle East, Fonterra Brands said. “We began raising awareness about the perils of poor bone health more than 15 years ago. Since then, we have made a significant contribution to lifting its profile through setting up and supporting osteoporosis societies; driving education; and providing our bone scanning programmes. To date, we have provided more than 1.3 million free bone scans across nine countries and this programme is now an integral part of our awareness raising activities. We are proud to partner with IOF for another three years and support their hard-working and valuable efforts in battling poor bone health”.

Lilly
As a sponsor World Osteoporosis Day Lilly shows its commitment to helping improve the health and well being of osteoporosis patients worldwide. 

Novartis
“The IOF World Osteoporosis Days have been an excellent opportunity for Novartis to generate interest and awareness among both patients and employees,” said Stephan Korte, Global Advocacy, Novartis Pharma AG. “The silent disease osteoporosis represents a major burden of disease for society and the IOF activities on World Osteoporosis Day have significantly increased public awareness and discussions about this important health issue of our modern times.”

Tetra Pak
Tetra Pak is committed to raising awareness of the nutritional benefits milk and other dairy products play in maintaining a healthy diet and preventing diseases such as osteoporosis. Thanks to our milk processing, packaging and dairy industry expertise, we work with our customers and other key partners such as the IOF to promote bone health among consumers and our employees. We also support school feeding and agricultural development programmes allowing emerging nations to enjoy the nutritional benefits of a dairy-rich diet," said Jörgen Haglind, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Tetra Pak.

Osteoporosis, in which the bones become porous and break easily, is one of the world's most common and debilitating diseases. The result: pain, loss of movement, inability to perform daily chores, and in many cases, death. One out of three women over 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, as will one out of five men 1, 2, 3. Unfortunately, screening for people at risk is far from being a standard practice. Osteoporosis can, to a certain extent, be prevented, it can be easily diagnosed and effective treatments are available.