What is Osteoporosis?Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men aged 50 years and over will suffer an osteoporotic fracture. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and fragile, so that they break easily – even as a result of a minor fall, a bump, a sneeze, or a sudden movement. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can be life-threatening and a major cause of pain and long-term disability.
PreventionCan osteoporosis and fractures be prevented? Yes, if action is taken early! Read the information provided here to learn which steps you can take to build strong bones throughout life and avoid osteoporotic fractures.
The Care GapFractures due to osteoporosis have a devastating impact on millions of people worldwide and result in enormous socio-economic costs to society and healthcare systems. Yet, despite effective medical advances to reduce fractures, a minority of men and women actually receive treatment. Only 10% of older women with fractures actually receive osteoporosis therapy. In 2010, in Europe alone some 12.3 million people considered to be at a high risk for osteoporotic fractures were left untreated.
The 5 steps to healthy bones and a fracture-free future
1. Exercise regularlyWeight-bearing, muscle-strengthening and balance-training exercises are best.
2. Ensure a diet rich in bone-healthy nutrientsCalcium, 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 habitsMaintain a healthy body weight, avoid smoking and excessive drinking.
5. Get tested and treated if needed
If you’re at high risk you will likely need medication to ensure optimal protection against fracture.