World Osteoporosis Day

World Osteoporosis Day (WOD), marked on October 20 each year, is a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related bone diseases. It aims to put osteoporosis and fracture prevention on the global health agenda and reaches out to health-care professionals, the media, policy makers and the public at large.

The World Osteoporosis Day campaign calls on the general public to take early action to protect their bone and muscle health, in order to enjoy a good quality of life and independence in the future. Similarly, it calls on health authorities and physicians to protect their communities’ bone health. Despite the many effective treatment options, osteoporosis often remains undiagnosed and undertreated. By ‘closing the care gap’ through timely assessment and treatment, health professionals, government health authorities, and hospitals can work together to reduce the human and socioeconomic burden of fragility fractures.

Specifically, the 2017 World Osteoporosis Day campaign will urge people to ‘Love your bones – Protect your future’ and aim to:

• Promote worldwide awareness of osteoporosis and understanding of the heavy toll the disease can take on an individual’s future if left undiagnosed and untreated.

• Improve understanding of the link between osteoporosis and fractures – which can be a major cause of disability and early death in older adults.

• Encourage individuals to recognize risk factors, including first fractures, and to seek testing and treatment if required in order to protect their longer term future.

• Promote bone-healthy nutrition and exercise as essential to good bone health, as well as awareness of the role of calcium, good nutrition, and regular exercise during childhood and adolescence when bones are developing.

• Advocate for preventive care worldwide: enable healthcare professionals and health authorities to close the persistent ‘care gap’ by addressing critical issues such as under-diagnosis and under-treatment, lack of Fracture Liaison Services to systematically identify and treat high risk patients, and poor adherence to treatment.

History of World Osteoporosis Day

World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) was first marked in 1996 by the UK’s National Osteoporosis Society and has been led by IOF since 1998. In that year, and in 1999, the World Health Organization acted as co-sponsor of the campaign. Since its launch, WOD has gained momentum year by year and now results in outreach to more than two billion people. Through international media and local events held by IOF and its national society members, WOD has played a major role in raising public awareness of bone health and the need for osteoporosis and fracture prevention. Annual campaigns have also been successful in raising public and health professional awareness of specific issues such as osteoporosis in men, postmenopausal osteoporosis, bone-healthy nutrition, the impact of fractures on quality of life, the role of exercise in bone health, vertebral fractures, need for risk awareness, secondary fracture prevention, and much more.

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