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IOF calls on European citizens to stand tall and speak out for their bones
Date:10/14/2008

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) kicked off World Osteoporosis Day events today in Brussels. This year's theme of Stand Tall, Speak Out For Your Bones is a global call to take charge and improve osteoporosis healthcare policies around the world.

Osteoporosis is a disease that can be largely prevented through timely diagnosis and cost effective treatment in the long run reducing healthcare budgets as well as preventing the suffering imposed by these fractures.

To better evaluate current standards of care across Europe, an EU-wide report, Osteoporosis in the European Union in 2008: Ten years of progress and ongoing challenges was launched today, creating a snapshot of osteoporosis management. The Report recognises some improvements:

  • Shorter wait times for bone mineral density testing has been achieved in many countries, resulting in more efficient diagnosis and treatment
  • A wide range of proven treatments is now available

However, ongoing challenges continue:

  • Only 6 of 27 EU governments have declared osteoporosis a healthcare priority
  • Hip fracture costs have doubled or tripled in several countries over 10 years
  • More than 40% of EU members states have fewer than the recommended number of bone mineral density scanners
  • Full reimbursement for these scans is provided in only 9 of 27 member states
  • Osteoporosis is part of national public health programs in only 10 of 27 countries

"Definite progress has been shown in many countries since our 2001 EU report, but there are still major gaps in care that deny many people the opportunity for timely and appropriate management to prevent fractures" said Prof John Kanis, IOF President. "Today we know that without intervention the first fracture is associated with an 86% increased risk of a subsequent fracture (1), yet the great majority of those who do fracture are neither identified as being at high risk nor treated."


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Contact: Margaret Walker
mwalker@iofbonehealth.org
International Osteoporosis Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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