Osteoporosis in the Asia Pacific Region
Osteoporosis Australia Medical Director Professor Peter Ebeling AO and Dr Manju Chandran Director of the Bone Metabolism Unit at Singapore General Hospital co-authored an article on the impact of osteoporosis across the Asia Pacific Region.
Key points include
• Asia Pacific region is home to more half the worlds population and is rapidly ageing
• Prevention of osteoporosis and falls (which can lead to fracture) must become a health care priority throughout the region
• Projections of more than 1.1 million hip fractures are anticipated in 9 countries, with estimated direct cost of US$7.4 billion
• By 2050 the number of hip fractures will more than double and comprise 50% of the worlds hip fractures
• In Australia
o More than 1.2 million Australians have osteoporosis and approx 24,000 hip fractures per year (this is the most serious type of fracture and often with the biggest impact on patients)
o GPs most commonly treat osteoporosis and play a key role in prevention strategies
o There is a lack of ‘Fracture Liaison Services’ within hospitals to improve investigation of patients for osteoporosis post fracture to ensure better diagnosis and management of poor bone health.
An Australia & NZ Hip Fracture Registry report (2017) noted low levels of patients receiving treatment for osteoporosis following a hip fracture at time of discharge from hospital. The authors noted this system failure in hospitals can be improved by stronger GP engagement in identifying fracture patients.
o Launch of the Federal Government National Strategic Action Plan for Osteoporosis (2019). Funding was announced to support initial implementation of key actions under this plan
The diverse health care systems across other Asia Pacific countries require country-specific processes. However all can benefit from general approaches to managing osteoporosis (which become doctor specific guidelines) and Fracture Liaison Services.
The formation of the Asia Pacific Consortium on Osteoporosis (APCO), chaired by Dr. Chandran, aims to bring about positive change in osteoporosis care across the region and inspire individuals working within healthcare system who are committed to better osteoporosis care.
Credit: Medical Journal of Australia Insight article, 29 June 2020