Stop at one! Make your first break your last on World Osteoporosis Day

Each year millions of people suffer fractures after by a minor fall or bump: the underlying cause is usually osteoporosis.

World Osteoporosis Day, observed annually on 20 October, launches a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases. This year, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and its more than 200 member patient and medical societies are calling on public and health professionals around the world to take action to prevent new fractures in people who have already suffered a first fracture.

Consider these key facts:

1. Fragility fractures are no accident - Each year millions of mostly older adults will suffer a devastating fracture after a minor fall or bump: the underlying cause is usually osteoporosis.

2. Fractures are warning signs - A person who has suffered an osteoporotic fracture is twice as likely to suffer a fracture in the future if no diagnosis and treatment for osteoporosis has been provided. In other words, a first fracture is a clear warning sign that you are at high risk of suffering more fractures in the future.

3. Over 50 and had a fracture? Get tested. Get treated - If you are 50 years of age or older and have had a fracture you should ask your doctor for a clinical assessment that will include a bone mineral density test and, if available for your country, a FRAX® online fracture risk assessment.
Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in a fragility fracture every 3 seconds.

Professor Cyrus Cooper, Chair of the IOF Committee of Scientific Advisors, stated, “We now know that a prior fracture doubles a patient’s future fracture risk. Furthermore, studies from the UK, USA and Australia have reported that 45% or more of today’s hip fracture patients have a prior fracture history. Healthcare systems are evidently failing to respond to the first fracture—this is, tragically, a missed opportunity for intervention.”

“World Osteoporosis Day is an occasion to remind the community that bone health matters. Osteoporosis and fracture prevention must be a priority for us all.”