On World Osteoporosis Day, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) urges doctors, hospital administrators, and healthcare systems to respond to the global fragility fracture crisis by ensuring widespread availability of post-fracture care coordination programmes such as Fracture Liaison Services.
Osteoporosis, a disorder that leads to weak and fragile bones, reveals itself when a person sustains a fragility fracture ¬- a broken bone following a low trauma impact, such as a fall from standing height. Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men aged 50 years and over will sustain a fragility fracture in their remaining lifetimes.
Fragility fractures impose an enormous burden on patients, their family members, and the health and social care systems. One of the most serious and debilitating of the typical osteoporosis-related fractures is a hip fracture. Among hip fracture survivors, 33% are totally dependent or in a nursing home in the year following the fracture.
IOF President Cyrus Cooper, stated:
“We know that up to half of the patients who present to hospital with a hip fracture had broken another bone in the months or years before breaking their hip. We also know that without treatment for osteoporosis, a woman who has had a first spine fracture is at substantial risk for additional fractures within the next 1-2 years. Nevertheless, although it would be critically important to ensure that all patients receive timely preventative intervention, approximately 80% of fracture patients worldwide do not get assessed and treated for osteoporosis.”
“World Osteoporosis Day is a fitting occasion to remind all healthcare authorities that there is a proven way to stop this devastating and costly cycle of recurring fractures. All fracture patients must be screened and treated through a post-fracture care model such as a Fracture Liaison Service, which has been shown to reduce re-fracture rates and mortality, and ultimately reduce the burden of fractures on healthcare systems.”
A Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) is a coordinated, multidisciplinary model of care that ensures that anyone who presents to a hospital with a fragility fracture goes on to receive the appropriate assessments, information, and interventions they need to reduce their risk of future fractures. This often includes rehabilitation and lifestyle advice, prescriptions for effective treatments for osteoporosis, monitoring, and referral to a falls prevention service.
Despite the clear benefits of systematic post-fracture care for secondary fracture prevention, very few countries in the world have invested in these vital programmes. FLSs are scarce even in the most advanced healthcare systems. As revealed by the recent SCOPE study which surveyed national medical societies in Europe, 8 European countries reported having no FLS; 13 reported poor coverage, with FLS in less than 25% of hospitals; and only 6 reported moderate coverage, with FLS in more than 25% of hospitals.1 In an effort to support the implementation of FLS, IOF initiated the Capture the Fracture® programme in 2012. This global multi-stakeholder initiative seeks to support FLS development and sustainability worldwide. It provides a global Best Practice Framework which serves as a benchmark tool to which clinics and hospitals can adhere and aspire to, provides mentorship and educational resources, and gives international recognition to new and established FLSs around the world. Currently with a network of more than 673 FLS, Capture the Fracture® invites all hospitals with post-fracture care coordination programmes to apply for assessment and recognition through its online Best Practice Framework questionnaire, currently available in English, Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese.
Dr Philippe Halbout, Chief Executive Office of IOF, added:
“Due to the ageing of the world’s populations, it is expected that by 2050, the global incidence of hip fracture will increase by 310% in men and 240% in women, compared to rates in 1990. These projections show why proven strategies to prevent secondary fractures are essential in all health care systems in countries with ageing populations."
"On behalf of IOF, and its affiliated experts and patient and medical societies, I urge all health care authorities to implement post-fracture care coordination programmes in their hospitals. It is a worthwhile healthcare investment which, most importantly, pays off by helping older adults remain healthy, active, and independent as they age.”
1. Kanis JA, Norton N, Harvey NC, Jacobson T, Johansson H, Lorentzon M, McCloskey EV, Willers C, Borgström F. SCOPE 2021: a new scorecard for osteoporosis in Europe. Arch Osteoporos 16, 82 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11657-020-00871-9
SCOPE 2021 resources: https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/scope-2021
2. All other facts and statistics are referenced here (accessed Sept. 22.09.2021: https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/facts-statistics/epidemiology-of-osteoporosis-and-fragility-fractures
About Capture the Fracture® (CTF)
Capture the Fracture is a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF). The initiative hopes to drive changes at local and international levels so that secondary fracture prevention becomes a reality. Its aim is to set global best practices for Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) while serving as a benchmark tool to which clinics and hospitals can adhere and aspire to, and receive international recognition. The CTF program has a diverse set of tools that provides essential resources and documentation to drive quality improvement in FLS; CTF also offers mentorship programs that support the development of FLS at the local level. Currently, the CTF network includes 673 FLS in 49 countries worldwide.
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the world's largest nongovernmental organization dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. IOF members, including committees of scientific researchers as well as 268 patient, medical and research societies, work together to make fracture prevention and healthy mobility a worldwide health care priority. https://www.osteoporosis.foundation @iofbonehealth
About World Osteoporosis Day
World Osteoporosis Day is marked annually on October 20 to raise awareness of bone health and osteoporosis prevention. The campaign, this year under the banner of ‘Take Action For Bone Health’, calls for global action to fight osteoporosis and related fractures worldwide. Check the WOD website here: http://www.worldosteoporosisday.org
WOD Official Partners: Amgen, UCB, Sandoz, Sunsweet, Theramex