CaMos study adds new importance to fracture prevention

    TORONTO, Aug. 4 /CNW/ - A new study published in the Canadian Medical
Association Journal this week paints hip and vertebral fractures in a
catastrophic light: if you are 50 or older and you break your back, you have a
one in six chance of dying within 5 years; if you break your hip, that chance
increases to one in four.
    Fractures related to osteoporosis are a major health concern, and are
affecting a growing number of Canadians, often with drastic impacts on the
quality of their lives.
    "As we already know, fractures have significant impact on an individual's
life, such as pain, immobility, and loss of independence, as well as major
impact on family caregivers. This new information emphasizes again how
critical it is to pay attention to fracture prevention," says Julie Foley,
President and CEO, Osteoporosis Canada.
    The 5-year study of 7,753 Canadians aged 50 or older, led by Dr. George
Ioannidis, a health research methodologist in the Michael G. DeGroote School
of Medicine, uses data from the Canadian Multicentre Osteoporosis Study
(CaMos). It examines the relationship between new fractures and mortality.
    "Previous studies have largely assessed fractures based on their impact
on quality of life or health care costs. We conducted this study to evaluate
the relationship between fractures and mortality," says Dr. Wojciech P.
Olszynski, Director, Saskatoon CaMos Centre. "Our results showed that
vertebral fracture was itself an independent predictor of death."
    Osteoporotic fractures in individuals over 50 are common: at least 40% of
women older than 50 will suffer a fracture in their lifetime. Study authors
conclude that interventions must be introduced to reduce the likelihood of
fractures, such as fall prevention strategies, improved post-fracture
rehabilitation, and osteoporosis medications.
    In November of 2008, Osteoporosis Canada released its first national
report card, grading access to osteoporosis care and osteoporosis treatments
available through public prescription formularies, stressing how provinces and
territories in Canada were failing Canadians in need of osteoporosis care and
treatment. This study puts new pressure on our governments to cooperate on
comprehensive, integrated strategies aimed at ensuring appropriate care for
those at risk of fractures.

    About the 2008 Osteoporosis Report Card, Breaking Barriers, Not Bones

    Breaking Barriers, Not Bones presents a number of recommendations to
improve the outcomes for those living with osteoporosis and to reduce its
impact on the health care system.

    -   The federal and provincial/territorial governments must work
        collaboratively to create a national strategy, supported by parallel
        provincial/territorial strategies that provide coordinated
        osteoporosis care.
    -   These strategies should ensure that current and future initiatives in
        risk reduction, diagnosis and treatment are: coordinated,
        evidence-based, comprehensive, appropriately resourced within the
        publicly funded system. The ultimate goal is to reduce debilitating
        fractures and their impact on individual lives and on the health care
    -   Osteoporosis Canada is offering to work in partnership with the
        federal and provincial/territorial governments to develop and
        implement comprehensive and integrated strategies.

    About Osteoporosis Canada

    Osteoporosis Canada, a registered charity, is the only national
organization serving people who have, or are at risk of, osteoporosis. 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. Almost
2 million Canadians suffer from osteoporosis. One in four women and at least
one in eight men over the age of 50 has osteoporosis. However, the disease can
strike at any age. There are approximately 27,000 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. The cost of treating osteoporosis
and the fractures it causes is estimated to be $1.3 billion each year in
Canada alone. Long term, hospital and chronic care account for the majority of
these costs. A national voluntary Board of Directors governs the organization.
A Scientific Advisory Council made up of medical and scientific experts from
across the country provides guidance in all medical matters.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview with an Osteoporosis
Canada spokesperson, contact: Ania Basiukiewicz,
or (416) 696-2663 ext. 240

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Osteoporosis Canada

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