The 2016 WOD campaign calls on the general public to take early action to protect their bone and muscle health, in order to enjoy a good quality of life and independence in the future. It also calls on health professionals and health authorities to prioritize osteoporosis and fracture prevention by ensuring that people at high-risk are assessed and appropriately treated.
The care gap
Fractures 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.
IOF will issue a thematic report addressing these current care gaps, together with recommendations for global improvements.
What can YOU do?
Be proactive! Although bone loss can be accelerated by some conditions out of your control (such as family history), there are certain steps that you can take to help prevent and fight this ‘silent’ disease.
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.
Have risk factors? Talk to your doctor, ask for testing.
If you are over the age of 50 and you have one or more risk factors you should discuss these with your doctor and ask for an assessment of your bone health status. Lifestyle changes may be recommended and, for those at high risk, medication may be prescribed for optimal protection against fractures.