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Most women unaware of risk for debilitating fractures
Date:4/2/2010

WORCESTER, Mass. Underscoring what researchers call a serious international public health concern, results from the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) showed that among women at an elevated level of risk for osteoporosis-associated fractures, there is a failure to perceive the implications of having important risk factors. For example, among postmenopausal women from 10 countries in Europe, North America and Australia diagnosed with osteoporosis, a condition putting them at high risk for fractures, only 43% thought their risk of a fracture was higher than that of other women their age. Additionally, only one in three (33%) women in GLOW who reported two or more major risk factors for fracture perceived themselves as being at higher risk for fracture than their age-matched peers.

This latest study from GLOW, which is based at the Center for Outcomes Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, was published today in the journal Osteoporosis International and included more than 60,000 postmenopausal women in 10 countries.

"We've found that many women aren't making the connection between their risk factors and the serious consequences of fractures," said the lead author of the paper, Ethel Siris, MD, GLOW investigator and Director of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center of the Columbia University Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "Without a clear understanding of their risks, women cannot begin to protect themselves from fracture."

One in two women will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture after age 50; these fractures often carry with them chronic pain, reduced mobility, loss of independence, and especially in the case of hip fracture, an increased risk of death. Because the likelihood of fractures increases substantially with older age, fracture numbers are projected to rise as the population ages. Osteoporosis-related fractures are an international public health problem; in
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Contact: Alison Duffy
alison.duffy@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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