Although you can’t see it or feel it, your bones may be getting thinner and weaker. Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men aged 50 and over will break a bone due to osteoporosis, the hidden disease which causes bones to become so fragile that they can break even after a minor fall or bump.
For World Osteoporosis Day, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has introduced the IOF Osteoporosis Risk Check – a quick and easy-to-use online questionnaire that can alert you to your potential risk factors for osteoporosis. The Risk Check includes eight key questions and shows other common risk factors that can negatively impact on bone health.
Osteoporosis affects both sexes, yet women are more likely to be affected than men. IOF therefore especially urges all women aged 60 and older to be aware of whether they have risk factors for osteoporosis. Should risk factors be identified, it is important to ask a doctor for a bone health assessment. This is the first vital step to preventing painful and potentially devastating fragility fractures.
Key osteoporosis risk factors include older age (seniors are at higher risk), a broken bone after age 50 (a red alert for osteoporosis!), being underweight, height loss, a parental history of hip fracture or osteoporosis, having certain disorders or taking certain medications linked to bone loss, smoking, and excessive alcohol intake.
Professor Cyrus Cooper, IOF President, warns: "Osteoporosis sneaks up, silently - but make no mistake, it is dangerous. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can result in long-term disability, diminished quality of life and lost independence. Timely testing and treatment for anyone at high-risk is therefore essential. We must all remember that healthy bones keep us standing straight and strong, allowing us to enjoy active ageing and continued independence.”
On October 16 IOF issued country-specific press releases in cooperation with local member societies to announce the availability of the new Risk Check in Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico and Spain. By the end of 2019 the Risk Check will be available in a total of 34 languages.