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

Britt Ekland, Swedish actress

I am an actor and staying slim is part of the job, so like most celebrities I have been on a diet for most of my adult life. As a result, my body has been deprived of essential vitamins and nutrients, which no doubt contributed to my osteoporosis. I do worry terribly about today's female celebrities, who are even thinner than our generation was. And the worst thing is that other women feel they have to copy the people they see looking so slim in magazines and in the films.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, former director general, World Health Organization, in an exclusive interview given to IOF, January 1999

Twenty-five years ago, the world's leading experts in cardiovascular diseases warned of an impending epidemic of heart disease in developing countries. This warning was largely ignored and we are now seeing a dramatic increase in prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in the developing world. We must not allow the same thing to happen for osteoporosis. We must act now.

Maureen McTeer, medical law specialist, human rights advocate, author, patron of Osteoporosis Canada. Message on the occasion of the 2nd IOF Women Leaders Roundtable, 2006

As patron of Osteoporosis Canada for many years, I am pleased that we have successfully changed the image of osteoporosis as a disease of elderly women, a group who historically have had neither economic nor political clout –to a disease that can strike us all whether we are men or women, young or old.