Did you know that globally, up to one-in-two women and one-in-five men aged 50 years and over will sustain an osteoporotic fracture during their remaining lifetime? Furthermore, by 2050, half of all hip-fractures globally are projected to occur in Asia Pacific (APAC) – the world’s most densely populated and fastest ageing region.

Today (Tuesday, October 20) marks World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) – an International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) public health campaign that strives to heighten global awareness of the need to prevent, diagnose and treat osteoporosis, among healthcare professionals, policy makers, patients, the media and community at large.

VIVA! Communications is delighted to be celebrating this important public health milestone today, given our longstanding commitment to the bone health arena, and partnership with organisations dedicated to improving the bone health of Australians and those abroad.

For almost two decades, we have proudly partnered with Osteoporosis Australia (OA) on a plethora of campaigns, including the most recent appointment of TV personality and wellness coach, Michelle Bridges, as the organisation’s national Know Your Bones Ambassador.

Throughout 2019 and 2020 we’ve also had the pleasure of supporting the Asia Pacific Fragility Fracture Alliance (APFFA) and the Asia Pacific Consortium on Osteoporosis (APCO) with their communications, respectively. Both organisations were established to create a framework of minimal clinical standards for those living with osteoporosis, to improve the burden of the disease, and its consequence, fragility fractures (resulting from mechanical forces that would not ordinarily fracture normal bone), in Asia Pacific. Importantly, fragility fractures can cause substantial pain, long-term disability, loss of independence, and even death.

This year’s WOD campaign is wielding the tagline, ‘THAT’S OSTEOPOROSIS’,reinforcing the direct link between osteoporosis, and fragility fractures. The campaign is further striving to raise global awareness of osteoporosis as a ‘family affair’, given family members are often required to carry the burden of care for the individual affected. Should you have a parent who has been diagnosed with osteoporosis, or has sustained a hip fracture, you may be at heightened risk of developing the disease. Other risk factors for osteoporosis may include:

  • Height loss of more than 4 cm (1.5 inches);
  • Long-term use of glucocorticoids (‘steroids’ to treat inflammation);
  • Being underweight;
  • Smoking;
  • Excessive alcohol consumption; and
  • Early menopause.

Today, the IOF is encouraging all adults over 50 years of age, and those with risk factors for osteoporosis, to take their IOF Osteoporosis Risk Check. Those who identify risk factors for osteoporosis are encouraged to visit their GP for a bone assessment, without delay.

Furthermore, to address the ingrained community misconception that osteoporosis-related complications are an inevitable part of ageing, the IOF has produced a variety of multi-lingual WOD resources, including posters, infographics and fact sheets, all available for download today.

To learn more about WOD, and to access supporting resources, head to:

www.worldosteoporosisday.org/resources.