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An evidence-informed strategy to prevent osteoporosis in Australia

Peter R Ebeling, Robin M Daly, Deborah A Kerr and Michael G Kimlin
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (2): 90-91. || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11363

An outline of the Building healthy bones throughout life white paper

Osteoporosis currently affects 1.2 million Australians, most of whom do not know they have the disease. Without intervention, this is expected to increase to 3 million by 2021 as a result of population ageing. There are also now 6.3 million Australians with osteopenia. General practitioners and their patients often overlook bone health and, as a result, osteoporosis is often not diagnosed until fragility fractures occur. There is also a lack of an accepted strategy for osteoporosis prevention in Australia. Currently, treatment is based on bone mineral density (BMD) measurement and/or a prior fracture. However, more than 50% of women and 70% of men who sustain fragility fractures do not have BMD in the osteoporosis range (T score <  2.5). This represents a “prevention paradox”, which is the basis for developing the population-based prevention strategy outlined here.

  • Peter R Ebeling1
  • Robin M Daly2
  • Deborah A Kerr3
  • Michael G Kimlin4

  • 1 NorthWest Academic Centre, University of Melbourne, and Western Health, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute and School of Public Health, Curtin University, Perth, WA.
  • 4 Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD.

Correspondence: peterre@unimelb.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

Published with the Building healthy bones for life white paper on www.mja.com.au/open.

Competing interests:

Peter Ebeling has received prior research support from Sanofi and currently receives research funding from MSD, Amgen, Novartis and Eli Lilly. He has previously received honoraria from Merck and a travel grant from DiaSorin to present at a meeting. Robin Daly has received a prior honorarium from Merck.

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