2021 World Osteoporosis Day
What is Osteoporosis?
Across the globe, one in three women and one in five men aged 50 years and over will suffer an osteoporotic fracture at some point. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and fragile, so that they break easily – even as a result of a minor fall, a bump, a sudden movement or even a sneeze. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can be life-threatening and a major cause of pain and long-term disability.
Only 20% of patients with osteoporotic fractures are actually diagnosed or treated for osteoporosis. In 2010, in Europe some 12.3 million people considered to be at a high risk for osteoporotic fractures were left untreated.
Follow these five steps to healthy bones and a fracture-free future:
- Exercise Exercise regularly - keep your bones and muscles moving. Weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening and balance-training exercises are best.
- Nutrition Ensure your diet is 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.
- Lifestyle Avoid negative lifestyle habits. Maintain a healthy body weight, avoid smoking and excessive drinking.
- Risk Factors Find out whether you have risk factors. Bring these to your doctor’s attention, especially if you’ve had a previous fracture, have a family history of osteoporosis, or take specific medications that affect bone health.
- Testing & Treatment Get tested and treated if needed. If you’re at high risk you will likely need medication and lifestyle changes to help protect yourself against fractures.