Osteoporosis Australia welcomes bi-partisan Federal Ministerial Roundtable on fracture prevention

Australians will sustain up to 160,000 broken bones (fractures) this year due to poor bone health, with costs reaching more than $3.1 billion – 70 per cent of which will be directly related to fracture costs.

According to Osteoporosis Australia CEO, Greg Lyubomirsky, too many Australians are unnecessarily breaking bones, which is impacting the patient, their family and the healthcare system.

“We cannot allow so many Australians to be affected by broken bones. We must take action to prevent fractures. This bi-partisan, Federal Ministerial Roundtable is a very positive and welcome step in our call for action.”

Professor Mark Cooper, Deputy Chair of the Osteoporosis Australia Medical Committee said “we have patients leaving hospitals after sustaining a fracture who are not routinely investigated for osteoporosis. We also have members of our community living with osteoporosis risk factors, who are not having a bone mineral density test. This must change so that we can prevent fractures.”

A broken bone is a medical emergency, and after repairing a costly fracture, for any patient over 50, we need to be asking…why did it happen?, according to Mr Lyubomirsky.

“Fractures are mostly caused by osteoporosis in people aged over 50. Yet only 20 per cent of these patients are currently being investigated. Therefore, most patients are not being diagnosed, and remain unaware of their underlying health issue.

“Today’s Federal Ministerial Roundtable will review the impact of osteoporosis and strategies, such as fracture liaison services, to reduce the number of Australians breaking bones. It’s very encouraging to see bi-partisan support for achieving better patient outcomes,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.

Visit www.knowyourbones.org.au – to take the online bone health self-assessment tool developed by Osteoporosis Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Currently 66 per cent of the population aged over 50 is estimated to have poor bone health. Hip fractures remain the most costly type of fracture related to osteoporosis. Other types of fractures remain widespread – wrist, spinal, arm and leg fractures.