Osteoporosis

Our bones are living tissue that give our body structure, allow us to move and protect our organs. Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become thin and  lose their strength. This can lead to fractures, which cause pain and make everyday activities extremely difficult. After a hip fracture, about one-quarter of people die or never walk again. 

It’s estimated over 200 million women have osteoporosis. That’s more than the combined populations of the Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men over the age of fifty will experience an osteoporotic fracture.

In fact, every three seconds a bone will break, somewhere in the world, because of this disease.

Many people won’t know they have osteoporosis until their first fracture, which is why it’s called the ‘silent disease’. Even after a break, it often goes untreated.

The good news is osteoporosis can be diagnosed and treated and fractures often prevented through healthy lifestyle choices.
 

Our Bone Health Advocates

Her Majesty Queen Rania, speaking at first IOF Women Leaders Roundtable, May 2002, Lisbon, Portugal

Although we have effective treatments for osteoporosis, each year millions of our grandmothers are crippled and disfigured because they don't have easy and sufficient access to diagnosis and medication.

Kirk Pengilly has been with the band INXS since its founding in 1977

When I found out that I had osteoporosis, I was pretty shocked. I thought it was, you know, for old ladies basically…but I got diagnosed when I was 37. Osteoporosis has affected my life in many ways. Mainly I’m a lot more aware of my health now. I’m aware of just taking it a little more easy with physical activities, I exercise regularly, I gave up smoking… in fact, I probably feel better now than I have ever felt!

Carmen Sanchez, osteoporosis patient from Spain, speaking at an IOF press conference held in Brussels

There is indeed one thing I have learnt – that an accurate diagnosis, which is relatively simple, can save women from a lot of suffering, fractures and emotional damage.