Osteoporosis – an update

SPECIALIST TALK // Emma Clark, Dr., Consultant Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology, Musculoskeletal Research Unit, University of Bristol

This update will cover the importance of osteoporosis, which of your patients may have osteoporosis, an update on physical activity for people with osteoporosis, and suggestions on how to provide simple education and advice for these patients.

Osteoporosis is one of the most common diseases of older people with one in three women and one in five men experiencing an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. Fracture rates vary across Europe, with older people living in Denmark having the highest fracture risk of all.

It is important to understand which of your patients may have osteoporosis and/or vertebral fractures. Risk factors for osteoporosis include advancing age, family history, low body weight, smoking, excess alcohol intake, systemic inflammatory diseases and some medications. In addition, risk factors for fracture such as falls are important contributory factors to the impact of osteoporosis.

There is often concern among patients and healthcare professionals about physical activity in the setting of osteoporosis and/or vertebral fractures. Emma Clark will focus on the potential benefits and possible adverse effects of everyday activity and/or specific movements and exercises for people with osteoporosis. The final section will cover some suggestions for providing ‘best practice’ recommendations on physical activity for people with this diagnosis.

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