Osteoporosis: why taking care of your bone health is vital

Cycling, hill-walking, aqua-aerobics, Pilates, line-dancing, swimming, horse-riding – and on top of all of that, 64-year-old Breda Costigan is a regular at her local gym.

When it comes to being active, this dynamic retired teacher from Co Tipperary is always on the go. But when she fell off her horse and broke her wrist she embarked on a challenging journey, first with osteopenia, which is thinning of the bone mass, and later osteoporosis, which is characterised by a loss of bone mass, and has been linked to a number of factors, including ageing and menopause.

Osteoporosis is a common condition in this country. About 300,000 people in Ireland live with osteoporosis, which affects half of all women and a fifth of all men in Ireland over the age of 50. Meanwhile, new research has found that 85 per cent of people over the age of 50 who participated in a national survey had a high risk of developing the disease.

The study took place during the Address and Assess roadshow run last summer by the Irish Osteoporosis Society in conjunction with healthcare professionals and support from biopharmaceutical firm Amgen.

As part of the roadshow, just under 1,000 people, the majority of whom were over the age of 50, were encouraged to conduct a self-assessment online to determine whether they were at risk of developing osteoporosis. The results showed that 79 per cent of those who took the test had high risk factors for the condition.

Often, the first indication of osteoporosis will be a bone fracture, which can be seriously debilitating.

Hospitalised

In 2014 more than 12,000 people were hospitalised for osteoporosis-related bone fractures. This figure is expected to rise to more than 31,000 by 2046. Each year the condition costs the State more than €650 million.

Contact us: https://youmed.vn