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World Osteoporosis Day: Love Your Bones!

by Public Health Update

World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) is marked on October 20 each year.
WOD is dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases.

It aims to put bone health and fracture prevention on the global health
agenda and reaches out to health-care professionals, the media,
policy makers, patients, and the public at large.

Osteoporosis is a very common condition. Currently, osteoporosis is vastly underdiagnosed and undertreated. Worldwide, millions of people at high risk of broken bones (fractures) remain unaware of the underlying silent disease. The huge human and socioeconomic cost, and severe impact of fractures on patients’ independence, is underestimated.

Theme 2020


The year’s campaign objectives are to:
• improve understanding of the link between osteoporosis and broken
• reveal the human costs of fractures through impactful patient portraits
• encourage the public to check their personal risk for osteoporosis by
driving use of the new IOF Osteoporosis Risk Check
• raise awareness of osteoporosis as an intergenerational disease that
concerns the whole family
• reveal the socioeconomic burden of fractures through impactful facts and
• urge health care authorities worldwide to implement post-fracture care for
secondary fracture prevention


  • By 2050, the worldwide incidence of hip fracture in men is projected to increase by 310% and by 240% in women compared to 1990.
  • Urbanization and ageing populations are driving rapid increases in the osteoporosis disease burden.
  • The majority of fragility fracture patients are neither assessed, nor treated by their health-care system hence there is failure to ‘Capture the Fracture’ and reduce risk of subsequent fractures.
  • Osteoporosis accounts for more days in the hospital than breast cancer, heart attack, diabetes & other diseases.
  • 1 in 5 women with a spinal fracture will suffer another one within one year.
  • Loss of independence after a hip fracture, approximately 60% require assistance a year later and 20% will require long-term nursing care.
  • Fracture risk up to 27% higher than prostate cancer risk.
  • 1 fracture occurs every 3 sec.
  • If you’ve suffered 1 fracture you’re twice at risk for another.
  • Aged 50+ 1/3 women 1/5 men: will suffer an osteoporotic fracture worldwide.
  • 9 million fractures annually.
  • A prior fracture is associated with an 86% increased risk of any fracture.
  • Only 1/3 of vertebral fractures come to clinical attention.
  • 80% of people who have had at least one osteoporotic fracture are neither identified nor treated for osteoporosis.
  • In men, the risk of fracture is up to 27% higher than the risk of prostate cancer.

The 5 steps to healthy bones and a fracture-free future

1. Exercise regularly: Weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening and balance-training exercises are best.
2. Ensure a diet rich in bone-healthy nutrients: Calcium, vitamin D and protein are the most important for bone health. Safe exposure to sunshine will help you get enough vitamin D.
3. Avoid negative lifestyle habits: Maintain a healthy body weight, avoid smoking and excessive drinking.
4. Find out whether you have risk factors: and bring these to your doctor’s attention, especially if you’ve had a previous fracture or have specific diseases and medications that affect bone health.
5. Get tested and treated if needed: If you’re at high risk you will likely need medication to ensure optimal protection against fracture.

Source of information: World Osteoporosis Day

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