Date: July 1st, 2013
Most people who break a bone are treated in the emergency room or at an urgent care facility, and life goes on. But 2 million of those bone breaks each year are not the result of an accident, but a sign of osteoporosis. Despite these numbers, only 2 in 10 older women who break a bone are treated for or even receive a simple test for osteoporosis.
Believe it or not, osteoporosis—the deterioration of bone tissues and bone mass—is one of the greatest health threats for women over 50, and many who have the disease don’t even know it. Because osteoporosis develops without obvious symptoms, even if an individual knows they have it they may not realize how serious their condition really is. Osteoporosis leads to high incidences of fractures—including in the hip and spine—and can become incapacitating and greatly reduce a person’s independence.
Get Educated and Take the Pledge
Recognizing that prevention and education are essential to lowering the risk of osteoporosis, the National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA) is working to get the word out. In their campaign 2MILLION2MANY, NBHA is amplifying the rallying cry that 2 million fractures is too many by drawing attention to the issue and asking others to join in.
A centerpiece of this campaign is Cast Mountain, an artistic installation that consists of a “mountain” of used casts. The mountain is 12-foot tall by 12-foot wide, weighs 2,500 pounds, and represents the 5,500 bone breaks that occur in the US each day because of osteoporosis. The installation travels to events with NBHA and makes an unforgettable statement about the impact of this devastating disease.
You can add your name to the rallying cry that that 2 Million is 2 Many by signing their pledge and promising to contact a healthcare professional for an osteoporosis test should you or a loved one break a bone after the age of 50.
Keeping Your Bones Healthy
Osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging and there’s a lot you can do to protect your bones, whatever your age. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) raises awareness and provides fabulous resources including their Five Steps for Bone Health:
- Get your recommended daily calcium and Vitamin D and turn to food sources first.
- Do regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise.
- Don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol.
- Talk to your healthcare professional about your risk of osteoporosis and find out when you should have a bone mineral density test.
- Take an osteoporosis medication when it’s right for you.
- More than 40 million people live with or are at risk for osteoporosis.
- 2 million bone breaks due to osteoporosis occur each year.
- ½ of women and up to ¼ of men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
- 4 out of 5 older women are not tested or treated for osteoporosis after they break a bone.
- 50% of osteoporosis-related repeat bone breaks in older adults can be prevented with appropriate treatment.