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20 October 2021

Women urged to ask for more from osteoporosis care and treatment, as international survey reveals disease awareness gaps

FOR MEDICAL BUSINESS/INDUSTRY TRADE MEDIA ONLY

London, [20 October 2021]: A new international survey of 1,008 women with osteoporosis from six countries, launched on World Osteoporosis Day reveals that while more than two-thirds (67%) of women over the age of 55 mostly understand what osteoporosis is and the potential negative impact of future fractures,1 19% felt poorly informed at the time of the diagnosis.1

The survey, conducted in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and Brazil, included 316 postmenopausal women over the age of 55 years and 315 premenopausal women (40-55 years) with osteoporosis (altogether 62% of the surveyed women). It was initiated by Theramex in cooperation with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and highlights a lack of information and education during diagnosis and management of the condition.

This survey highlights a gap in osteoporosis awareness, as one-fourth of the patients aged 55 years and over were not aware and did not understand the link between osteoporosis and bone fractures.1 A third (35%) of respondents said they would have been motivated to watch out for their bone health if they had known that one in three women aged over 50 will suffer a fragility fracture, but fragility fractures are preventable with the right treatment.1 In addition, close to 25% of postmenopausal women felt not listened to by their doctors when discussing their treatment.1

This underscores the need for healthcare professionals to provide patients with accessible information and resources about osteoporosis and the growing risk for post-menopausal women.     

Osteoporosis is a chronic condition causing loss of bone strength, resulting in fragile bones.2 It is a growing problem,2 affecting around 500 million people globally.3 Osteoporosis affects more women than men, with the risk increasing with age.4 Women are at higher risk of osteoporosis after the menopause, when the ovaries stop producing oestrogen, a hormone which has a protective effect on bones.4 The condition remains largely underdiagnosed and between 60% and 85% of women over 50 with osteoporosis do not receive appropriate care.5 

Dr. Philippe Halbout, International Osteoporosis Foundation CEO said, “The impact of osteoporosis should not be underestimated. Fractures can be life-altering, causing pain, disability and loss of independence which is why it’s so important to ensure that patients are receiving the information, care and treatment they need to manage their condition and prevent or delay fractures. This survey highlights the need for improved doctor-patient communications and demonstrates the importance of education to empower women to ask for more from their care.”

Theramex CEO, Robert Stewart, commented, “Women with osteoporosis deserve support and appropriate treatment to help them continue to enjoy their lifestyles and precious moments with loved ones. We are committed to working with the osteoporosis community to increase awareness and education around the condition, as the more women know and understand, the more they will be empowered to ask for more from their osteoporosis care, helping to reduce or eliminate the risk of fractures.”

Contacts:

Shireen Bate, Director – Global Franchise Head Osteoporosis, Theramex

shireen.bate@theramex.com / +44 (0)7747 233769

Helen Rae, Makara Health

helenrae@makarahealth.com / +44(0)7503 652311

References:

  1. Opinion Matters. (2021) #Askformore Osteoporosis International Survey.
  2. Noh, J.Y., Yang, Y. & Jung, H. (2020) Molecular mechanisms and emerging therapeutics for osteoporosis. Int J Mol Sci. 21 (20), 7623.
  3. International Osteoporosis Foundation. (n.d.) IOF website Facts and Statistics https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/facts-statistics/epidemiology-of-osteoporosis-and-fragility-fractures [Accessed 18th October 2021].
  4. International Osteoporosis Foundation. (n.d.) About Osteoporosis: Risk Factors. Available from: https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/patients/about-osteoporosis/risk-factors [Accessed 18th October 2021].
  5. International Osteoporosis Foundation. (2019) BROKEN BONES, BROKEN LIVES: A roadmap to solve the fragility fracture crisis in Europe. Available from: https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/sites/iofbonehealth/files/2019-06/1.%202018_EU6_Report_BrokenBonesBrokenLives_English.pdf [Accessed 18th October 2021].
  6. Cooper, C. & Ferrari, S. (2019) IOF Compendium of Osteoporosis. International Osteoporosis Foundation. 2nd edition. 
  7. Vytrisalova, M. et al. (2015) Adherence to oral bisphosphonates: 30 more minutes in dosing instructions matter CLIMACTERIC 18, 608–616.
  8. Johnell, O. et al. (2004) Mortality After Osteoporosis Fractures. Osteoporos Int 15 (1), 38-42.
  9. Nevitt, M.C. et al. (1998) The Association of Radiographically Detected Vertebral Fractures with Back Pain and Function: A Prospective Study. Ann Intern Med 128 (10), 793-800.
  10. Lips, P. et al  (1999) Quality of Life in Patients with Vertebral Fractures: Validation of the Quality of Life Questionnaire of the European Foundation for Osteoporosis (QUALEFFO). Osteoporos Int 10, 150-160.
  11. Tosteson, A.N. et al (2001) Impact of Hip and Vertebral Fractures on Quality-Adjusted Life Years. Osteoporos Int 12:1042-1049.

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