Making the first fracture the last: breaking the silence of osteoporosis

Labour Party

TAInternational Osteoporosis Foundation meeting, Brussels, 7 Novemer 2012Approximately 80 percent of patients treated in clinics or hospitals following a fracture are not screened for osteoporosis or risk of future falls according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF).  Capture the Fracture – A global campaign to break the fragility fracture cycle  provides teling evidence that left untreated, these patients are at high risk of suffering secondary fractures and facing a future of pain, disfigurement, long-term disability and even early death.

The  capture the fracture campaign aims to educate physicians and patients in over 90 countries about the importance of osteoporosis screenings to prevent future fractures, thereby reducing healthcare costs in the process.

Last week I was pleased to speak at the International Osteoporosis Foundation‘s annual event in Brussels on how to how to move osteoporosis and musculoskeletal disorders to the top of health agendas. This is an issue that I have been working on for over 10 years in my position as co-chair of the European Parliament Osteoporosis Interest Group.

Osteoporosis is a debilitating chronic disease, affecting one in three women over 50, and one in five men. Osteoporosis causes bone to become more fragile and weak, leading to an increased risk of fractures (broken bones). Osteoporosis has no signs or symptoms until a fracture occurs, which is why it is often called a ‘silent disease’. Osteoporotic fractures most commonly occur in the wrist, upper arm, pelvis, hip and spine. If osteoporosis is diagnosed early and treated following a first fracture, a cascade of future fractures can be prevented.