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Half of women over 50 will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis

osteoporosis risk factors imageArticle by Dr Carol Cooper

“It’s a tragedy that half of women over 50 will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis, often the wrist, hip, or spine.  Osteoporosis causes fragile bones that are more likely to fracture after fairly minor trauma, and there are no symptoms until a bone breaks.

But even then, the condition doesn’t get the attention it deserves.  The fracture heals, yet bone thinning continues.  Now new research from the National Osteoporosis Society shows that 20% of women break three or more bones before they’re diagnosed with osteoporosis.

In some parts of the country there’s a Fracture Liaison Service that picks up problems after one broken bone, but it’s far from universal.  That’s why more women – and their doctors – need to be aware of what can be done.  The Stop at One campaign is aimed at raising awareness and ensuring that someone’s first fracture is their last fracture.

Risk factors for osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can in most cases be treated, but only if it’s diagnosed early  There are some pointers to risk, such as a family history of osteoporosis, poor diet, lack of exercise, and excess alcohol.  Any woman over 50 who’s already broken a bone, or is concerned about her bone health, can check out the online bone health quiz on www.stopatone.org.uk.”

  • The National Osteoporosis Society reveals that a fracture relating to osteoporosis occurs once every two minutes across the UK, with one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 suffering a break as a result of poor bone health
  • The charity has launched a campaign called STOP AT ONE that aims to raise awareness of bone health and tackle the problem of fractures in the over 50s and helps people to make their first break their last
  • 2.3 million women over the age of 50 in the UK have osteoporosis, which incapacitates them for an average of 40 days, every time a bone is broken
  • People who are over 50 and have broken a bone or have osteoporosis in their family are being encouraged to take the online bone quiz to find out if they are at risk (nos.org.uk/stopatone)

 Carol Cooper [1600x1200]Dr Carol Cooper is a GP and ambassador for the Stop at One campaign.


Dr Carol Cooper

Carol is a practising doctor and prolific medical journalist. She graduated from Cambridge University but says that most of her training took place since then. Now she works as a GP in London where she deals with women's health concerns every working day. She also teaches at Imperial College Medical School. She has been the doctor for The Sun newspaper for 10 years, and contributes to a number of other titles including Top Sante. Carol regularly appears on TV and radio, often giving expert medical opinions on topical health matters. She is also the author of many popular parenting and health books. A lone parent, Carol finds that her three sons, now all young adults, provide endless inspiration as well as welcome relief from medical practice. www.drcarolcooper.com

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  1. Monika

    October 16, 2013

    GPs should send women over 50 for bone scans as regularly as they have mammograms, but as usual it’s down to budgets and money. When I had my bone scan at my local hospital, I was told the scanning equipment was only used one day per week. Shocking.

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