NYON, Switzerland and BATH, England, October 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
- One in five men over 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis
- Survey of UK men aged 50+ shows only 2% are aware of their risk of osteoporotic fracture
- For the first time, two organisations dedicated to osteoporosis join forces to raise awareness of this debilitating and 'silent' disease
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and the UK's National Osteoporosis Society (NOS) join forces today on World Osteoporosis Day, to highlight the appalling and insufficient knowledge about the disease, its devastating impact and the surprising fact to the UK population that this condition is not exclusive to women.
New data gathered by the IOF shows that only 3% of adults in the UK are aware of the risk men aged 50+ face from suffering a fracture due to osteoporosis; and of the men aged 50+ surveyed, only 2% correctly estimated the risk. Almost a quarter of the 2,424 people surveyed in the UK perceived the risk to be 1 in 1,000 (23%). A further 18% vastly underestimated the risk, citing 1 in 5,000 or 1 in 10,000, where in reality the risk is 1 in 5. Furthermore, the results show that doctors are not making men aware of the condition, which can result in late diagnosis.
Commenting on the results, Professor John Kanis, President of the IOF, said: "The sad reality is that, by not knowing their risk, men are leaving themselves vulnerable to a future of pain, disability and possibly even early death. The problem is being further exacerbated by doctors not addressing bone health with their male patients during routine check-ups. More must be done to educate men about the risks of osteoporosis, and to change the perception that it is a condition affecting only women."
Osteoporosis can lead to painful fractures, disability and early death, but is often neglected by doctors during routine consultations. Among those men surveyed in the at-risk group of over 50 years of age, 73% who had visited a doctor for a routine physical check-up said that they had never had any form of bone assessment, including: been asked about bone health; had risk factors for osteoporosis discussed; questioned if they had previously broken a bone; or had been referred for a bone mineral density test. This compares to 65% of women aged 50+.
The National Osteoporosis Society's Stop at One campaign encourages people to better understand their risk of osteoporosis. By visiting http://stopatone.nos.org.uk/ people who are worried can take a short Bone Health Quiz, to find out whether they are at risk and what action they can take.
A diagnosis of osteoporosis and subsequent fracture can have a devastating impact on every aspect of a person's life; male or female. Claire Severgnini, Chief Executive of the National Osteoporosis Society, said: "Fear of fracture and broken bones can end people's working lives. It can lead to giving up work before they planned to, resulting in feelings of social isolation and depression. Breaking the silence surrounding osteoporosis means talking about the wide-ranging impact the condition has on the lives of both men and women equally."
Millions of people with osteoporosis are living every day in pain and in fear; from emotional and financial insecurity, to fear of losing independence and even their sense of purpose. These are just some of the dramatic findings from the recently commissioned National Osteoporosis Society 'Life with Osteoporosis' landmark research project. Moreover, the research findings go on to support the concern that we simply don't talk about osteoporosis, regardless of gender. There are many dimensions to the difficulty experienced by those living with osteoporosis and both sets of data urge that we break the silence surrounding osteoporosis and talk about the wide-ranging impact the condition has on people's lives.
Compared with responses from other countries included in the survey, the UK demonstrated the lowest level of awareness of fracture risk in men at only 3%, followed by Belgium (6%), Jordan (6%), USA (7%), Spain (8%), UAE (8%), India (9%), Brazil (11%), Australia (12%), South Africa (14%), Mexico (18%), and China (20%).
About the survey
The survey was conducted by YouGov in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, India, Jordan, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United Kingdom and the USA.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample sizes were as follows: Australia (1000), Belgium (1000), Brazil (1001), China (1031), India (1045), Jordan (1001), Mexico (1032), South Africa (502), Spain (1029), United Arab Emirates (1026), United Kingdom (2424), USA (1167). Fieldwork was undertaken in July 2014. The survey was carried out online. Figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults (aged 18+) in the respective country.
About The Life with Osteoporosis project
In June of this year the National Osteoporosis Society launched Life with Osteoporosis - a landmark study to find out more about the impact of osteoporosis and fragility fractures on people's lives. The key findings, published in the report, offer an unparalleled insight into the true impact osteoporosis and fractures have on quality of life.
- 54% of people who had fractures experienced height loss or a change in their body shape
- 49% of people who had fractures reported having their physical intimacy affected
- 1 in 4 people with osteoporosis who were of working age at diagnosis have had to give up work, change their job or reduce their hours
- 42% said osteoporosis had made them feel socially isolated
- 42% of people who had fractures are in long-term pain which they don't think will ever go away. This rises to 58% when people have had spinal fractures
Conducted in partnership with Alterline, an independent research agency, 3,228 people participated in the research study. The questionnaire was directly promoted to subscribers of both the Charity's e-newsletter and members' magazine. It was promoted on the Charity's website and other communication channels and by the Charity's volunteer and healthcare professional networks. Alterline also ran the questionnaire with an existing research panel of members of the public with osteoporosis that had no association with the Charity.
About World Osteoporosis Day
World Osteoporosis Day is observed annually on 20 October, and marks a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. http://www.worldosteoporosisday.org #worldosteoporosisday
World Osteoporosis Day is supported globally by unrestricted educational grants from Amgen, Fonterra, Lilly, MSD, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare and UCB.
About International Osteoporosis Foundation
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the world's largest NGO dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. IOF members, including 225 patient, medical and research societies, work together to make bone, joint and muscle health a worldwide healthcare priority. http://www.iofbonehealth.org/; https://www.facebook.com/iofbonehealth; https://twitter.com/iofbonehealth #LoveYourBones
About the National Osteoporosis Society
The National Osteoporosis Society is the only UK wide charity dedicated to ending the pain and suffering caused by osteoporosis. We are committed to helping people with osteoporosis live the lives they want to lead. We support researchers and healthcare professionals to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and fragility fractures. We want every person over the age of 50 who breaks a bone to be assessed and treated for osteoporosis. The charity was established in 1986 and has since grown into a well-respected national charity with approximately 25,000 members and over 50 members of staff. http://www.nos.org.uk; @OsteoporosisSoc; http://www.facebook.com/buildingstrongerbones
Ivergard M, et al. Epidemiology and economic burden of osteoporosis in the UK. Arch Osteoporos 2013;8(137):211-218.
International Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteoporosis and Men Survey 2014.
National Osteoporosis Society, 'Life with Osteoporosis' research report 2014.
SOURCE International Osteoporosis Foundation and the UK National Osteoporosis Society