Reflecting a new focus
Osteoporosis Australia announced its official renaming as Healthy Bones Australia earlier this year to reinforce the importance of prevention. The patient organisation is calling for Australians to prioritise their bone health and learn about risk factors for osteoporosis.
Professor Peter Ebeling AO, medical director of Healthy Bones Australia said: “Concerningly, the prevalence of osteoporosis is on the rise, with more than 4.74 million Australians over 50 years of age living with poor bone health. The renaming of our consumer organisation to Healthy Bones Australia reflects our aim – to protect, build and support better bone health for all Australians.”
A team effort
Healthy Bones Australia is encouraging doctors to focus on early diagnosis of osteoporosis to reduce fractures which have a big impact on patients and their families.
Fractures related to osteoporosis cost the healthcare system more than $3 billion each year. Deputy chair of the Healthy Bones Australia Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee, Dr Weiwen Chen, said educating the community about the risk factors for osteoporosis is critical. “Public health messaging about the importance of maintaining healthy bones tailored to those aged 50 years and over with risk factors, younger adults with specific risk factors, and those who have sustained a fracture, is very important.
“Consumer resources are vital, alongside core services, such as the national website, toll-free helpline, risk factor fact sheets and online self-assessment tools, all of which are available from Healthy Bones Australia,” Chen said.
The organisation will continue to offer the online self-assessment, Know Your Bones, which was developed in partnership with the Garvin Institute of Medical Research. Know Your Bones ambassador, Michelle Bridges, who is well known for motivating the public to improve their health and wellbeing, is helping raise community awareness about the online self-assessment.
For more information about bone health, visit www.healthybonesaustralia.org.au