Why don't millions of osteoporosis patients get a correct diagnosis?

Medical professionals are demanding better treatment for osteoporosis
If people suffer from osteoporosis, the resulting reduced bone density leads to an increased risk of fractures. However, many sufferers have no idea of ​​their illness. Researchers at the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) have now identified the top ten reasons why millions of cases of osteoporosis are not diagnosed worldwide.

In the report “Gaps and Solutions in Bone Health”, scientists from the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) identified the ten largest gaps in care in the treatment of osteoporosis. The IOF has summarized the results in a current press release.

80 percent of people with osteoporosis are insufficiently protected against fractures
About 80 percent of people with osteoporosis who have previously had a broken bone remain unprotected from the risk of further fractures, the researchers say. Despite the global threat of so-called fragility fractures and the availability of safe and cost-effective therapies, too few risk patients are still successfully treated, the authors believe. The disease needs to be diagnosed and treated more reliably, which could prevent millions of fractures, the doctors add.

New report shows urgent need for action
The current report is a necessary and urgent call to action, explains the author Professor Eugene McCloskey. Because fractures and the resulting human and socio-economic burdens will have an enormous impact on all countries with an aging population in the near future, the expert continues.

The effects of fragility fractures are often serious
So-called fragility fractures can cause chronic pain and lead to restricted mobility. This significantly affects the quality of life of those affected. Less than half of all elderly people with a hip fracture will ever be able to walk without help again, the researchers report. Up to 20 percent of these people would even become nursing home residents within the next year.

The ten most important gaps in care
The report explicitly mentions ten major gaps in care that prevent early diagnosis and treatment. The report also outlines possible solutions that could be implemented by national health authorities worldwide. The identified gaps in coverage are:

1. Poor management in relation to so-called secondary fracture prevention.
2. Osteoporosis caused by medication.
3. Inadequate consideration of other diseases related to osteoporosis.
4. Lack of primary prevention in people at high risk of fractures.
5. Sub-optimal communication and low public awareness of prescribed treatments.
6. Lack of public awareness of the serious effects of osteoporosis and the risk of broken bones.
7. Insufficient information about the benefits of treatment compared to the risks of osteoporosis treatment.
8. Impaired access to diagnosis or treatment of osteoporosis.
9. The lack of prioritization of so-called fracture fracture prevention.
10. A lack of epidemiological data, especially in developing countries.

Report outlines global framework for avoiding osteoporotic fractures
The gaps in care outlined in this report and the solutions they provide outline a global framework for addressing the devastating burden of osteoporotic fractures around the world, said Professor of the International Osteoporosis Foundation, Professor John A. Kanis. National politicians and health care organizations should work together to address local treatment gaps. It is now the time for optimal management of bone health and not only in ten or twenty years, adds the professor. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Understanding Osteoporosis Diagnosis with Dr. Lani (January 2022).