Two Million Fractures Occur Each Year in the U.S. Due to Osteoporosis. NOF Encourages Everyone to Break Free from Osteoporosis
Do you know someone over the age of 50 who has broken a bone? Perhaps your mother “tripped” in the garden and broke her wrist? Or your neighbor broke his ankle walking on the golf course? Two million broken bones occur every year in the United States due to osteoporosis, but the majority of patients get the fracture fixed without ever realizing they have osteoporosis or low bone mass.
NOF is kicking off May as National Osteoporosis Month and issuing a call to action for the public to Break Free from Osteoporosis. The awareness campaign encourages everyone to get to know their risk factors for osteoporosis and change their lifestyle to build and maintain strong bones.
Osteoporosis and low bone mass put an estimated 54 million Americans at risk for broken bones. That means nearly 60 percent of adults age 50 and older are at risk of breaking a bone and should be concerned about bone health. For women, the incidence of osteoporosis is greater than that of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.
“While there is no cure for osteoporosis, it is avoidable for many of those at risk,” said Amy Porter, executive director and CEO, National Osteoporosis Foundation. “That’s why we’re continuing the Break Free from Osteoporosis initiative to raise awareness for the critical role diet and exercise play in building and maintaining strong bones for life. Following the five simple steps below will go a long way toward protecting against osteoporosis and broken bones.”
5 Steps to Break Free from Osteoporosis
1. Get to know your risk factors: Many factors play a role in your risk for osteoporosis, including age, gender, lifestyle, medical history, family history and whether you take any medication or have medical conditions that can lead to bone loss. Learn more about the risk factors for osteoporosis.
2. Get active: Doing regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise is one of the best ways to protect against osteoporosis and broken bones.
3. Eat Your Way to Healthy Bones: Calcium, vitamin D, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats are the key to eating for healthy bones. To learn more about the role of nutrition on bone health, join NOF for a free webinar on Wednesday, May 14 from 1-2pm Eastern. Made possible with support from Sunsweet, the Better Bites: Nutrition and Bone Health Webinar will help you:
- Identify nutrients that are important to bone health;
- Understand the specific role of calcium and vitamin D in bone health; and
- Find foods at grocery/retail stores that contain ingredients that promote bone health.
4. Ask your healthcare provider when you should get a bone density test: The painless, 10-minute test will help predict your risk of breaking a bone.
5. Don’t smoke and don’t drink too much alcohol: No more than two drinks a day is best for bone health.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and more likely to break. Since you can’t feel your bones getting weaker, many people don’t realize they have osteoporosis until they break a bone. One in two women and up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime. While the statistics are grim, there is a lot you can do to protect your bones throughout your life.
This month and throughout the year, NOF is offering free downloadable resources and information and encouraging everyone to get involved in raising awareness for osteoporosis and spreading the word about the importance of building strong bones for life. In addition, NOF’s online INSPIRE community, which has grown to more than 17,000 participants is an excellent resource for people to discuss topics of interest related to bone health.
To learn more about the Break Free from Osteoporosis campaign and how to build and maintain strong bones for life, please visit www.nof.org.
About the National Osteoporosis Foundation
Established in 1984, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is the nation’s leading health organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis and broken bones, promoting strong bones for life and reducing human suffering through programs of awareness, education, advocacy and research. For more information on the National Osteoporosis Foundation, visit www.nof.org.