Today is the 12th World Osteoporosis Day. Thanks to my position as co-chair of the EP Intergroup on Osteoporosis I am able to work actively on the issues surrounding this terrible chronic disease and hopefully help to advance the way that it is approached.
This morning I met with EFORT (the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology) to talk about ways in which awareness of Osteoporosis could be raised across Europe.
This debilitating chronic disease can lead to chronic pain, reduced mobility, disability, and an increasing degree of dependence for individuals. It can also lead to previously independent patients requiring long term nursing care, the responsibility of which often falls to family members.
On top of this, despite the fact it is estimated to cost EU Member States around €32bn a year, the disease and its consequences are shockingly nowhere near the top of governments’ health care priorities. As a result awareness of osteoporosis lags behind that of other chronic diseases by around 20 years.
EFORT and the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) are just two of the groups carrying out vital awareness raising work on what is known as the hidden or silent disease. Through their work they seek to improve the available knowledge on prevention, diagnosis and treatment and raise awareness of the disease and its effects.
Today an Unbreakable Embrace has been organised by the IOF. So with them I urge you to join me and embrace an active lifestyle, embrace calcium rich foods and embrace vitamin D and remember: love your bones.
For more information about Osteoporosis visit the website of the International Osteoporosis Foundation.