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, 19% felt poorly informed at the time of the diagnosis.1
The survey initiated by Theramex in cooperation with the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), was conducted in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, and Brazil. It 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). Of these women, osteoporosis was only diagnosed after a fracture in almost 60% of the cases. 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.1,2 In addition, close to 25% of postmenopausal women felt not listened to by their doctors when discussing their treatment.1
Osteoporosis is a chronic condition causing loss of bone mass and strength, resulting in fragile bones.3 It is a growing problem,3 affecting around 500 million people globally.4 Osteoporosis affects more women than men, with the risk increasing with age.5 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.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 provide accessible information and education about 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.”
This World Osteoporosis Day, women are being urged to #askformore from their osteoporosis care and treatment. For further information and osteoporosis resources, visit https://www.worldosteoporosisday.org/break-silence-osteoporosis-its-time-askformore.
About the Survey1
The online survey was conducted among 1,008 women with osteoporosis across six countries: Germany (73), France (74), Spain (122), Italy (298), Australia (54) and Brazil (387). The respondents were all female with 377 under 40, 315 aged 40-54, 201 aged 55-64, 90 aged 65-75 and 25 over 75. It should be noted that the risk of osteoporosis increases with age, despite the number of women in the younger age category in this survey. The survey was conducted between 5 – 12 July 2021 by Opinion Matters on behalf of Theramex.
Osteoporosis remains largely underdiagnosed and undertreated, resulting in a large number of fractures.
- It is a significant health issue – affecting ~500 million people worldwide4
- Osteoporosis affects more women than men and risk increase with age5
- After the menopause women start to lose bone at a faster rate, raising the risk for women who have had an early menopause or hysterectomy5
- One in three women aged over 50 will suffer a fragility fracture2
- Hip, spine, and wrist fractures are the most common fractures in osteoporosis and have a debilitating impact on daily activities and quality of life2
- After a spine fracture, mortality is increased immediately after the fracture event6
- Spine fractures can lead to back pain, loss of height, deformity, immobility, impaired quality of life (QoL), and difficulties in activities of daily living7,8,9
About the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)
The International Osteoporosis Foundation is the world’s largest non-governmental organization dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases.
Our vision is a world without fragility fractures, in which healthy mobility is a reality for all.
To promote bone and musculoskeletal health as a worldwide priority.
Theramex is a leading, global speciality pharmaceutical company dedicated to women and their health. With a broad portfolio of innovative and established brands covering contraception, fertility, menopause and osteoporosis, we support women at every stage of their lives. Our commitment is to listen and understand our patients, serve their needs, and offer healthcare solutions to help improve their lives. Our vision is to be a lifetime partner for women and the healthcare professionals who treat them, by providing innovative and effective solutions that care for and support women as they advance through each stage of their lives
1. Opinion Matters. (2021) #Askformore Osteoporosis International Survey.
2. Cooper, C. & Ferrari, S. (2019) IOF Compendium of Osteoporosis. International Osteoporosis Foundation. 2nd edition.
3. Noh, J.Y., Yang, Y. & Jung, H. (2020) Molecular mechanisms and emerging therapeutics for osteoporosis. Int J Mol Sci. 21 (20), 7623
4. International Osteoporosis Foundation. (n.d.) IOF website Facts and Statistics https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/facts-statistics/epidemiology-of-os… [Accessed 18th October 2021]
5. International Osteoporosis Foundation. (n.d.) About Osteoporosis: Risk Factors. Available from: https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/patients/about-osteoporosis/risk-fa… [Accessed 18th October 2021]
6. Johnell, O. et al. (2004) Mortality After Osteoporosis Fractures. Osteoporos Int 15 (1), 38-42.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Tosteson, A.N. et al (2001) Impact of Hip and Vertebral Fractures on Quality-Adjusted Life Years. Osteoporos Int 12:1042-1049.