Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become thin and porous, decreasing bone strength and leading to increased risk of breaking a bone. Because bone loss occurs without symptoms, it is often referred to as “the silent thief”. Fractures from osteoporosis are most likely to occur in the wrist, spine, shoulder and hip and are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined, with at least one in three women and one in five men expected to suffer from an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime. Over 80% of all fractures in people 50+ are caused by osteoporosis. As of 2010, the annual cost to the Canadian health care system to treat osteoporosis was $2.3 billion.
Some facts about osteoporosis:
- Osteoporosis causes 70-90% of the 30,000 hip fractures annually.
- Twenty-eight per cent of women and 37% of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the following year.
- One in three hip fracture patients re-fracture at one year and over 1 in 2 will suffer another fracture within 5 year
Dr. David Goltzman
Professor, Department of Medicine and Physiology, McGill University; Physician, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, MUHC
Expertise: Co-Principal Investigator of the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study (epidemiologic study looking at the demographics, causes, risk factors and outcomes of osteoporosis and of osteoporosis treatment in what were initially (the study started 16 years ago) 10,000 volunteers in 9 cities across Canada (they continue to follow about 4000). He is also the Director of the Calcium Research Laboratory.
Available for interviews in English only