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 and appropriate medication for those in need.
 

Our Bone Health Advocates

Chalida Thaochalee, Miss Thailand 1998

I think it is particularly important for young girls and boys to exercise in order to build stronger bones to prevent osteoporosis later in life, because most people reach their peak bone density and strength in their teens and twenties. After peak bone mass is reached, bone density remains stable during adulthood and then declines with age. Weight bearing exercises are essential for building bone density and mass. However, to obtain bone benefits, exercise must be regular.

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.

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.