Canadians putting themselves at risk for osteoporosis: survey

New survey reveals Canadians are largely unaware about osteoporosis and the serious consequences it can have on their health

TORONTO, Feb. 2, 2016 /CNW/ - Snow and ice can make walking challenging, especially for those at risk of fractures due to osteoporosis. In fact, one in three Canadian women, and one in five Canadian men, will break a bone because of osteoporosis, a debilitating disease that can strike at any time, causing bones to become fragile and break.1 Each year in Canada, broken bones caused by osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined for women over the age of 50, despite the fact that if simple steps are taken in your 30s, the risk can be reduced.1

"Many people think that osteoporosis is a natural part of aging, but this is not the case," said Dr. Famida Jiwa, President and CEO of Osteoporosis Canada. "Every year, thousands of Canadian women break bones due to undiagnosed osteoporosis, despite the fact that the disease can be effectively managed, and in some cases prevented. We strongly encourage everyone over 30 to speak to a healthcare professional about osteoporosis and the steps that they can take to protect themselves."

Despite the severity and prevalence of osteoporosis, a new survey released today from Osteoporosis Canada, in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart, reveals startling gaps in Canadians' knowledge and understanding of the disease.2 The survey results show that half of those in their 30s don't know the facts about osteoporosis and how to reduce their risk of developing this disease.2

Additional results and statistics include:

  • By 2035, it is estimated that almost 42,000 individuals per year will experience a broken hip, meaning that those in their 30s and 40s now are at risk3
  • 1.4 million Canadians have osteoporosis; however, only five per cent of respondents rated themselves as knowledgeable about the disease2, 4 
  • When asked about key facts of the disease, the majority of Canadians admitted they are not aware of seven of eight key facts about osteoporosis and complications that are related to the disease2
  • Although guidelines recommend consumption of 1000-1200 mg of calcium per day, most women fail to reach this level with their dietary intake – many only getting 300 mg/day5
  • In Canada, among people over 50 years old, 80 per cent of broken bones are caused by osteoporosis, while 80 per cent of Canadians who break a bone are never assessed for possible underlying osteoporosis1
  • As of 2010, the overall yearly cost to the Canadian healthcare system for treating osteoporosis and the fractures it causes was over $2.3 billion6

"It's never too early to start thinking about bone health and there are easy steps that Canadians can take, at every age, to help prevent osteoporosis," said Bhavika Prajapati, pharmacist and Associate-Owner, Shoppers Drug Mart. "Ensuring your diet is rich with calcium, supplementing with vitamin D and adding regular exercise to your daily or weekly routine will help build bone strength and can make a difference in prevention of osteoporosis and fractures."

As part of this effort for better bone health, Osteoporosis Canada has joined forces with Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, whose pharmacists have received specialized training in the prevention, management and treatment of osteoporosis. Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix pharmacists are equipped to provide education and advice to patients about osteoporosis management and reducing the risk. In addition, Osteoporosis Canada is lending its endorsement to Life Brand Vitamin D and Calcium products, to help in the prevention and management of Osteoporosis.

Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix is committed to Putting Women's Health First, which is why Shoppers Drug Mart launched SHOPPERS LOVE.YOU. program in 2015. SHOPPERS LOVE.YOU. is a program that helps women stay focused on making their own health a priority.

"Shoppers Drug Mart is thrilled to be working with Osteoporosis Canada, helping to further educate Canadian women about osteoporosis,'' said Prajapati. ''Pharmacists' expanded scope of practice offers further convenience to our customers and patients and, in this instance, knowledgeable information, to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis in Canadians."

For more information about protecting your bones, visit your local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist or

About Osteoporosis Canada

Osteoporosis Canada, a registered charity, is the only national organization dedicated to serving people who have or are at risk of osteoporosis. In keeping with our vision of a Canada without osteoporosis fractures, the organization works to educate, empower and support individuals and communities in the risk reduction and treatment of osteoporosis by providing medically accurate information to patients, health professionals and the public.

At least 2 million Canadians are affected by osteoporosis. One in three women and one in 5 men will break a bone due to osteoporosis. There are approximately 30,000 hip fractures per year in Canada; data on spinal fractures is limited, but it is estimated that 65 per cent of vertebral fractures go undetected. For more information, visit

About Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix

Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With over 1,250 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The Company also licenses or owns 59 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and six luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale. As well, the Company owns and operates 62 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home healthcare products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. Shoppers Drug Mart is a unique and independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited. For more information, visit

1Osteoporosis Canada. Osteoporosis Facts and Statistics. Accessed February 1, 2016
2H+K Perspectives, Bone Health: A Survey of Canadians. June 4-14, 2015.
3Osteoporosis Canada. Fracture Liaison Services Toolkit, appendix B. Accessed February 1, 2016.
4Brown, Jacques P., Josse, Robert G., Canada and the OSC lead the way. Osteoporosis Update. 2003.  Accessed February 1, 2016
5Osteoporosis Canada. Calcium: An Important Nutrient that Builds Stronger Bones. Accessed February 1, 2016.
6Tarride JE, Hopkins RB, Leslie WD, et al. The burden of illness of osteoporosis in Canada. Osteoporos Int.
Nov 2012;23(11):25912600.

SOURCE Osteoporosis Canada

For further information: Emily Vear, Hill+Knowlton Strategies,, 416-413-4743

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