Women Fail to Recognize Osteoporosis Risk Shown in Study

A study shows that women questioned in 10 countries failed to recognize risk for fracture from osteoporosis. Results of the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) show that among 60,000 postmenopausal women studied, only 43 percent perceived themselves at risk for fracture from osteoporosis compared to women not diagnosed with disease.

Thirty three percent of women already diagnosed with osteoporosis also failed to recognize their risk factors for fracture - a finding that researchers say is a public health concern.

"We've found that many women aren't making the connection between their risk factors and the serious consequences of fractures," said the lead author of the paper, Ethel Siris, MD, GLOW investigator and Director of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center of the Columbia University Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "Without a clear understanding of their risks, women cannot begin to protect themselves from fracture."

The authors are asking clinicians to remain aware of women who are at high risk for bone fractures from osteoporosis. Menopause, steroid medications, low weight, rheumatoid arthritis, family history, and previous fractures can signal high risk women. Consuming three or more alcoholic beverages daily is also a risk for osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis awareness can reduce human suffering and keep health care costs down, highlighted in the study. The GLOW study shows that women studied are at risk from failure to recognize the implications of fractures that can occur from osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis International