It's Time to Resume Routine Care: Chronic Diseases Like Osteoporosis Haven’t Stopped During the Pandemic
Posted: October 20, 2021 | Word Count: 892
This content is sponsored by Amgen.
While many regular activities continue to be interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing that hasn’t stopped is the need to screen, diagnose and treat chronic diseases such as osteoporosis. The pandemic has made it more difficult for people all over the world, including the United States, to see their doctors, but now it’s time to resume care, such as regular osteoporosis screenings, that can help keep serious diseases in check.
Evaluate Your Risk
A first step in knowing your risk for developing osteoporosis is becoming familiar with the risk factors of disease. For osteoporosis, a bone disease in which the bones become weak and more likely to break, some of the main risk factors include:1
- Being age 65 or older2
- Tobacco use and excessive alcohol intake (>3 drinks per day)2,3
- Low body weight2,3
- Calcium deficiency2,3
- Having a parent who suffered a hip fracture2,3
Screenings are important to help prevent the impact of serious diseases like osteoporosis.3
“It remains very important for patients to follow a bone health plan in consultation with a healthcare professional, such as their primary care physician or a specialist such as an endocrinologist, rheumatologist or gynecologist, depending on their specific situation,” said Henry G. Bone, MD, MACP, FRCP, FACE. “While COVID-19 persists, women already receiving treatment should discuss with their doctor any issues or concerns related to gaining access to care.”
Osteoporosis: A Refresher
Osteoporosis is estimated to affect about 200 million people worldwide, including about 10 million Americans.4,5 The impact of the disease and the related bone fractures is very significant.3 The disease causes more than 8.9 million fractures worldwide every year—or a bone break about every ~3 seconds.6 And it may surprise many people to know that a fracture related to osteoporosis can be a life-altering event that can lead to the loss of one’s mobility and changes in a person’s lifestyle.3
In New Jersey, more than 34,400 women have experienced at least one osteoporosis-related fracture, with 40% of those fractures being an index hip osteoporosis-related fracture.7,8*
It is important to be aware that osteoporosis is a serious, chronic condition with no cure that can cause bones to weaken and increase the risk of breaking a bone.9,10 Other important things to know about osteoporosis include:
- Osteoporosis occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both.1
- It is often called a silent disease because one can’t feel bones weakening.1
- A bone break is often the first sign of osteoporosis. Such breaks can occur from a minor fall or, if severe, even a strong sneeze.1
- Bone breaks can make daily activities more difficult.11
- Weight-bearing and muscle strengthening-exercises are two types of exercises that are important for building and maintaining bone density.12
- Nutrition, especially proper levels of calcium and vitamin D, can be helpful in maintaining bone health.13
Your health isn’t guaranteed – take the necessary steps to look out for your well-being by visiting a healthcare professional to get screened for osteoporosis and to develop a bone health plan today.
Learn more at https://www.takechargeofosteo.com/what-to-know.html.
*A retrospective database analysis of women aged >= 66 years identified from 100% FFS Medicare data was conducted. The first occurring non-traumatic osteoporosis-related fracture between Jan 1, 2011-Dec 31, 2017 was used to identify women to be included in the analysis, and marked as their index fracture. Results may not represent the total number of fractures.
Index fracture: the first osteoporosis fracture measured during the analysis time period.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It? https://nof.org/patients/what-is- osteoporosis. Accessed October 5, 2021.
- Camacho PM, Petak SM, Binkley N, et al. American Association Of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College Of Endocrinology Clinical Practice Guidelines For The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis-2020 Update. Endocr Pract. 2020;26(Suppl 1):1-46.
- Cosman F, de Beur SJ, LeBoff MS, et al. Clinician's Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis [published correction appears in Osteoporos Int. 2015 Jul;26(7):2045-7]. Osteoporos Int. 2014;25(10):2359-2381.
- Reginster JY, Burlet N. Osteoporosis: A still increasing prevalence. Bone. 2006;38 (2 Suppl 1):S4-S9.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. Fast Facts. https://cdn.nof.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Osteoporosis-Fast-Facts.pdf. Accessed October 5, 2021.
- Johnell O and Kanis JA (2006) An estimate of the worldwide prevalence and disability associated with osteoporotic fractures. Osteoporos Int. 17:1726-1733.
- Data on file, Amgen; 2020.
- Lewiecki EM, Singer AJ, Rane PB, et al. Geographic Variation in Prevalence of Osteoporosis Diagnosis and Utilization of Anti-Osteoporosis Therapies in United States Female Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries With Fragility Fractures. Poster presented at: American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 2020 Annual Meeting; September 11-15, 2020; Virtual Event.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. Treatment. Available at: http://nof.org/live/treating. Accessed October 5, 2021.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. Clinician’s Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis. Washington, DC: National Osteoporosis Foundation; 2014.
- Fischer, S., Kapinos, K.A., Mulcahy, A. et al. Estimating the long-term functional burden of osteoporosis-related fractures. Osteoporos Int. 28, 2843–2851 (2017).
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteoporosis Exercise for Strong Bones. https://www.nof.org/patients/fracturesfallprevention/exercisesafe-movement/osteoporosis-exercise-for-strong-bones/. Accessed October 5, 2021.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. Calcium/Vitamin D. https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/calciumvitamin-d/. Accessed October 5, 2021.