OSTEOPOROSIS - AFFECTING MILLIONS OF AUSTRALIANS1
Everyone needs to be aware of their bone health as they age. Osteoporosis is a chronic health condition that affects 1.28 million Australians.1
What is osteoporosis?
It is quite a common disease that affects approximately 5% of the Australian population.1,2 In simple terms, osteoporosis weakens your bones over time by making them brittle, fragile and more prone to fracture than normal bones. Osteopenia, which is a term describing low bone density, affects a further 6.3 million people.3 Osteoporosis occurs when your bones lose essential minerals like calcium, and your body is then unable to replace these minerals quickly enough. This causes a loss of bone thickness or bone density, which means that even a minor bump or fall can result in a broken bone.3
ONE IN THREE WOMEN, AND ONE IN FIVE MEN OVER 50 WILL SUFFER A FRACTURE DUE TO OSTEOPOROSIS.4
International Osteoporosis Foundation, 2017
You may lose your mobility
A bone fracture can be painful, making it difficult to carry out your day-to-day work or activities and make you less independent.5 Hip and vertebral fractures in particular can be quite debilitating and require extensive recovery and rehabilitation. Ultimately, a fracture caused by osteoporosis can really affect your quality of life. This is why it is so important for all Australians to be more aware of their bone health.
Know the signs: recognise the first fracture to prevent the second
The first fracture is often the first symptom of osteoporosis. Protect your future: if you are over 70 you can check your risk for osteoporosis.
72% of people with one or more fracture don’t receive treatment to prevent further fractures.6
Eisman J, et al. J Bone Miner Res 2004
Australians over 70 years old are eligible for a Medicare rebate for a bone mineral density test called a DEXA scan. You may also be eligible if you have certain medical conditions such as thyroid disease, or take certain medications, e.g. glucorticoids.7
Talk to your doctor about getting a DEXA scan to assess your bone health.
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- Watts JJ, et al. Osteoporosis costing all Australians - A new burden of disease analysis 2012 to 2022 Osteoporosis Australia, 2013.
- ABS. Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2018. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3101.0. [Accessed 13 February 2019]
- Osteoporosis Australia. What you need to know about osteoporosis. Consumer guide. 2017. www.osteoporosis.org.au. [Accessed 7 February 2019]
- International Osteoporosis Foundation, 2017. Facts and Statistics http://iofthebonehealth.org/facts-statistics. [Accessed 13 February 2019]
- Cooper C. Am J Med 1997;103:12S-7S.
- Eisman J, et al. J Bone Miner Res 2004;19:1969-75.
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Osteoporosis prevention, diagnosis and management in postmenopausal women and men over 50 years of age. East Melbourne, Vic: RACGP, 2017.