IOF and EU panel prepare osteoporosis audit

NYON, Switzerland -- The EU Osteoporosis Consultation Panel, supported by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), is meeting on April 18 in Brussels, Belgium to begin preparations for a second EU-wide audit on the status of osteoporosis in Europe.

In the European Union, someone has a fracture as a result of osteoporosis every 30 seconds, and with an ageing population, the annual number of hip fractures (the most serious form of osteoporosis-related fracture) in the EU is expected to more than double from approximately 500,000 to 1,000,000 over the next 50 years.

Aside from its personal and human cost, osteoporosis is a major public health problem in Europe, with enormous social and economic impact. We urge policy makers to recognize that significant money can be saved by preventing fractures, rather than treating them, noted IOF Chief Executive Officer Daniel Navid.

In 1998 the European Community issued a report on osteoporosis (the first such single-disease report) which included eight recommendations for action by health officials. IOF, recognizing that the recommendations had not been widely implemented, supported the European Union Audit, published in 2001 by the EU Osteoporosis Consultation Panel, comprised of EU osteoporosis scientists and health policy experts. This Audit reviewed progress of the eight recommendations, a comparison report card for the (then) 15 EU countries, and a Call to Action that urged all EU member states to make the prevention and management of osteoporosis and related fractures a healthcare priority. Since then, knowledge about the incidence and risk factors for osteoporotic fractures has increased, as well as therapeutic options for prevention and treatment. As well, the EU has expanded from the original 15 members to the current 27.

In 2000, IOF estimated that the number of osteoporotic fractures in Europe was 3.79 million of which 890,000 were hip fractures. The total direct co

Contact: Janice blondeau
International Osteoporosis Foundation

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