Experts launch Know Your Bones
Osteoporosis Australia and Garvan Institute of Medical Research are launching Know Your Bones today, Thursday 16 June. An Australian-first bone health self-assessment tool designed to help consumers understand their bone fracture risk, is now available to all adults, including the 7.5 million Australians living with brittle bones.
The Know Your Bones online tool helps adults assess their likelihood of fractures, including those diagnosed with osteopenia and osteoporosis – two common bone conditions that, together with fractures, will cost the nation more than $3 billion this year.
The evidence-based, consumer-friendly tool summarises bone fracture risk by assessing age, gender, weight, history of fracture, bone mineral density, and history of falls and lifestyle factors within the past 12 months. Risk of fracture over five and 10 years respectively, is assessed for people aged 50 and above, and a general, actionable summary is provided for all users (aged 18 and above), for further discussion with their GP.
According to Professor Jacqueline Center, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, the Know Your Bones project is based on key research findings from the 26-year-long Dubbo Osteoporosis Epidemiology Study, the world’s longest-running, large-scale, osteoporosis study. “Importantly, this study has allowed us to understand a person’s risk of fracture based on a combination of factors, which we have incorporated into the ‘Know Your Bones’ self-assessment tool,” Professor Center said.
Federal Minister for Health, The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, said, “The Know Your Bones health assessment tool is a great example of how medical research can be translated into a real community’s benefit, allowing anyone to better understand their own risk of fractures.”
“I encourage all adults to take a few minutes out of one day, jump online and complete the Know Your Bones assessment.”
The launch coincides with today’s release of new Osteoporosis Australia fracture figures revealing
• 155,000 fractures will occur Australia-wide this year
• a bone is broken every 3.4 minutes due to poor bone health
• men will account for up to 30 per cent of all fractures related to osteopenia and osteoporosis, and associated costs.
• In 2016, the total annual cost of fractures is estimated to be $2.075 billion.
Professor Peter Ebeling AO, Medical Director, Osteoporosis Australia says osteoporosis reduces bone strength and increases the risk of fracture, particularly of the spine, hip and wrist and noted osteoporosis and related fractures is an Australian national health priority.
“That’s why Osteoporosis Australia and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have joined forces, to place this practical, online self-assessment tool in the hands of the community, so they can be proactive about their bone health,” said Prof Ebeling.
Osteoporosis Australia CEO, Greg Lyubomirsky, said Australians should regard these new fracture figures as a public health warning. “Poor bone health can lead to fractures. Don’t wait to break a bone, take the Know Your Bones health assessment today,” Mr Lyubomirsky said.
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