Osteoporosis - are you at risk?

Question: When can a sneeze break your bones?

Answer: When you have osteoporosis.

This year, the national cost of the disease will reach more than $2.1 billion – 70 per cent of which related to fracture costs.

Australians will sustain up to 165,000 broken bones (fractures) due to poor bone health, with 4.7 million Australians over 50 affected.

The Federal Government has given $4 million to support the implementation of an action plan to raise awareness of and treat the disease.

What is it?

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes your bones to become porous, weak and fragile.

The result: a higher risk of broken bones.

Fractures are most likely to occur in the hip, spine, wrist or upper part of the arm, but other bones can break too – and one break can quickly lead to another.

Who is at risk?

Those over 60 are at higher risk of osteoporosis but it is possible to have the disease at an earlier age.

Menopause signals the start of rapid bone loss, which is why women need to pay special attention to their bone health at a younger age.

View risk factors

5 questions to ask your doctor

  1. Do I have any risk factors?
  2. Do I need a bone mineral density (BMD) test?
  3. If I have a BMD test, what do the results mean, and do I need medicine to protect my bones?
  4. How can I get enough calcium and vitamin D? 
  5. What kind of exercise should I do to help strengthen my bones and muscles?

It’s important to diagnose and treat the disease as soon as possible. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

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