ADVOCATE: National Osteoporosis Advocate, Ita Buttrose AO with osteoporosis patients Elaine and Carol.
ADVOCATE: National Osteoporosis Advocate, Ita Buttrose AO with osteoporosis patients Elaine and Carol.

National action plan to battle osteoporosis

OSTEOPOROSIS Australia and the Federal Government have launched the National Strategic Action Plan for Osteoporosis.

The $4million plan provides critical support to the 4.7million Australians aged over 50 who live with poor bone health, and embarks on a preventative approach to reduce future bone fractures and the impact of osteoporosis on the Australian healthcare system.

Just ask NSW Central Coast resident Carole. Her world was turned on its head when she celebrated her 50th birthday with a bone density scan at the request of her GP. Some 10 years before, Carole had sustained multiple bone fractures. What followed was intense treatment but also further fractures.

Her healthy lifestyle and good diet weren't enough.

After being properly diagnosed with osteoporosis, Carole's endocrinologist started her on medication, various forms of which she has since tried.

"You just don't realise, or recognise, the damage that fractures can cause before they occur,” Carole, now 65, said.

"It's time that people took their bone health very seriously, and recognised that by taking action sooner rather than later, painful fractures may be avoided.”

The National Strategic Action Plan on Osteoporosis has three key priorities - increasing osteoporosis awareness and education with a focus on prevention; improving osteoporosis diagnosis, management and care; and data collection, monitoring and strategic research.

The evidence-based plan provides a roadmap to improve the prevention, diagnosis and management of osteoporosis. The plan aims to reduce the personal and economic burden that osteoporosis and related fractures have on the community, and in particular, on older Australians.

Currently, 66per cent of Australians aged over 50 are estimated to have poor bone health. Hip fractures remain the costliest type of fracture related to osteoporosis. Other types of fractures remain widespread - wrist, spinal, arm and leg fractures. While osteoporosis mainly affects women, men also need to check their bone health, with 25 per cent of cases occurring in men.

Info: osteoporosis.org.au


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