Osteoporosis Australia rebrands as Healthy Bones Australia

Tuesday, 09 February, 2021

Osteoporosis Australia rebrands as Healthy Bones Australia

Osteoporosis Australia has rebranded and will now be known as Healthy Bones Australia (HBA).The announcement coincides with publication of an article in MJA Insight, which presents preliminary findings and recommendations from Osteoporosis Australia’s recent Inaugural National Consumer and Community Forum, convened to address health system barriers to improving Australian’s bone health.

The rebrand includes the launch of a resource hub that provides Australians with fact sheets on the types of medical risk factors for poor bone health and osteoporosis, as well as a range of useful links and services. The Know Your Bones online self-assessment tool — developed by HBA and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research — provides a personalised report based on user responses, and can be taken to a GP for further discussion if required.

Osteoporosis is on the rise, with more than 4.74 million Australians over 50 years of age (approximately two-thirds of those aged 50+) living with poor bone health. Early diagnosis of osteoporosis is vital to reducing fracture rates and their subsequent impacts and costs, which equate to more than $3 billion each year.

With the Australian population sustaining 173,000 broken bones last year, HBA urges Australians to prioritise their bone health by learning the risk factors for, and how to best prevent, brittle bones and osteoporosis.

Discussing the aims of the new HBA resource hub, a spokesperson from HBA said, “Our new name, Healthy Bones Australia, reflects our focus on prevention and goal to protect, build and support healthy bones in Australia. Our new resource hub, healthybonesaustralia.org.au, offers the community valuable educational tools which are easy to access.

“The new website provides important content for users — fact sheets on medical conditions or medications which can impact bone health; tips on calcium, vitamin D and exercise; access to the online risk factor self-assessment, called Know Your Bones; and personal stories shared by people living with osteoporosis.

“Poor bone health is serious, resulting in over 173,000 broken bones annually — it has a big impact on patients affected and their families and is very costly to the healthcare system. The focus should be on preventing broken bones.”

Key statistics

  • More than 1.2 million Australians are living with osteoporosis, and the prevalence is on the rise.
  • Studies demonstrate osteoporosis-related fractures are costly to the Australian healthcare system, at more than $3 billion per year.
  • Data shows 66% of people over 50 years of age have poor bone health (osteoporosis or osteopenia).
  • It is estimated that a bone will be broken every 3.4 minutes due to poor bone health.
  • People who have sustained a spinal fracture are four times more likely to experience another fracture within 12 months, compared with those who have never sustained an osteoporotic fracture.
  • Those at a heightened risk of osteoporosis may be unaware that risk factors including a prior fracture, family history of fracture, low weight, smoking, early menopause and high alcohol intake increase their chance of further fracture.
  • Only 20% of women (and an even smaller percentage of men) who come to medical attention with a fracture are then investigated and treated to prevent further fractures.
  • Targeted identification and management of patients post fracture may reduce the risk of refracture by 80%.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/WavebreakMediaMicro

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