Those individuals responsible for care of elderly women probably already know that their patients are in a group in which risk of osteoporosis is elevated. However, a recent survey from the groups Radius Health, Healthy Women, and the National Osteoporosis Foundation finds that many women do not make a connection between bone fractures and the possibility of osteoporosis — and that means that those taking care of elderly women may need to make that connection themselves.
The survey looked at 1,012 postmenopausal American women who were at least 50 years of age. The sampling included both those diagnosed with osteoporosis and those who were not so diagnosed. The goal was to measure knowledge of osteoporosis among these women.
Despite the availability of information about osteoporosis, 82% of the women surveyed were unable to identify bone fracture as indicating a possible risk factor for osteoporosis. This reveals a big disconnect that can lead to undiagnosed osteoporosis.
There were other interesting facts from the survey as well. For example:
- Almost one-third of post-menopausal women who have risk factors for osteoporosis know that they are at risk.
- 43% of the respondents with osteoporosis and 44% of those without thought that clumsiness was responsible for fractures that occurred from falls which should not typically result in a fracture. Of the 44% without osteoporosis, 96% were not told by their doctor that the fracture could have been linked to osteoporosis.
- About 30% of those surveyed think that the only thing they need to do to prevent osteoporosis is drink milk or take calcium supplements. (In fact, many other factors, such as proper exercise, not smoking, and monitoring alcohol intake, can play an important role as well.)
The survey results clearly indicate that there is a greater need to educate women about osteoporosis. Often, those taking care of elderly women also need to know all the facts about osteoporosis so that they can help take steps to prevent this condition from developing and to make sure their patients get appropriate treatment if it does develop.
For more information, visit the website for the National Osteoporosis Foundation.