News Release

Invest to protect against the growing tide of fractures, urges IOF

Business Announcement

International Osteoporosis Foundation

Protect against noncommunicable diseases

image: For the Global Week of Action on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), from September 5-11, 2022, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) joins the NCD Alliance to urge greater investment in NCDs, including osteoporosis and secondary fracture prevention. view more 

Credit: International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)

This Global Week of Action on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), from September 5-11, 2022, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) joins the NCD Alliance to urge greater investment in NCDs, including osteoporosis and secondary fracture prevention.

The NCD Alliance campaign theme for the Global Week of Action on NCDs is ‘Invest to protect’.  This underlines the fact that NCDs, although mostly preventable, are the number one cause of death and disability worldwide - yet they remain chronically underfunded. NCD health advocates worldwide are therefore calling on civil society and healthcare authorities to increasingly invest in health and NCD prevention. 

Non-communicable diseases are a diverse group of chronic conditions, but most of them share key modifiable risk factors, among which are tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity. Investment in cost-effective strategies and policies to improve the global population’s health by targeting these risk factors would have synergistic benefits for the majority of NCDs, ranging from cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, to musculoskeletal disorders like osteoporosis. 

IOF CEO Dr Philippe Halbout stated: “Within the spectrum of NCDs, osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases are too often disregarded. Many people don’t realize that fractures due to osteoporosis are often life-changing events that bring pain, immobility, isolation and dependency. For older adults affected by a fragility fracture, even simple, everyday tasks can become difficult or even impossible, placing a significant toll on the patients and their informal carers.”

In Europe, as revealed in the recent SCOPE’21 report, osteoporosis and related fractures represent an enormous and costly healthcare burden. The disability due to osteoporosis is greater than that caused by cancers (with the exception of lung cancer) and is comparable to or greater than that due to a variety of chronic NCDs, such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and high blood pressure-related heart disease. Of osteoporosis-related fractures, hip fractures cause the most morbidity, with reported mortality rates up to 20-24% in the first year after a hip fracture. Loss of function and independence among survivors is profound, with 40% unable to walk independently and 60% requiring assistance a year later.

Nevertheless, despite its huge and costly toll on health and well-being, osteoporosis remains vastly underdiagnosed and undertreated worldwide.

Dr Halbout added: "Due to global population ageing, musculoskeletal disorders - which mostly affect older adults – are expected to increase significantly. In fact, the worldwide incidence of hip fracture is projected to grow by 310% in men and 240% in women by 2050, compared to rates in 1990. Unless action is taken, the projected increase in healthcare costs caused by fragility fractures will be unsustainable for most healthcare systems. Investment is needed now to promote bone health and fracture prevention in the global population.”

As well as urging healthcare authorities to invest in public health measures that will promote healthy lifestyle and bone health awareness, IOF and its global Capture the Fracture® initiative are calling for specific action to provide routine post-fracture care. People who have sustained a fracture are at five times greater risk of having recurrent fractures. A proven and effective way to  ‘capture’ and treat these high-risk fracture patients is through the implementation of coordinated post-fracture care programs such as Fracture Liaison Services (FLS).  An FLS is a service within a hospital that provides for routine assessment and management of postmenopausal women and older men who have sustained a fragility fracture through a coordinated, multidisciplinary service. The FLS systematically identifies patients and assesses their risk of further fractures and their need for anti-osteoporosis treatment and falls assessment. This ensures that patients aren’t simply discharged but are offered the long-term treatment and management they need to protect themselves against recurring fractures.  

IOF President Professor Cyrus Cooper emphasizes the importance of taking action on NCDs: 

“IOF, which represents the world’s leading bone health experts as well as a network of more than 300 organizations dedicated to osteoporosis and musculoskeletal disease prevention, strongly urges healthcare systems to invest in NCD prevention now. Public health measures to reduce lifestyle-related risk factors as well as improved post-fracture care are urgently needed to address the growing tide of fragility fractures.”

“Investing in NCD and fragility fracture prevention today will save lives and money tomorrow.”


Further reading:

•    NCD Alliance
•    Global Week of Action on NCDs 
•    Epidemiology of Osteoporosis & Fractures – facts and statistics
•    SCOPE 2021 - ScoreCard for Osteoporosis in Europe  
•    IOF Compendium of Osteoporosis
•    Capture the Fracture® Partnership – Guidance for Policy Shaping

About IOF
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the world’s largest nongovernmental organization dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. IOF members include leading scientific experts as well as more than 300 patient societies and medical and research organizations in all regions of the world. Together, the IOF network works to make fracture prevention and healthy mobility a global health care priority. @iofbonehealth  

About Capture the Fracture®
Capture the Fracture® (CTF) is a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), to facilitate the implementation of Post-Fracture Care (PFC) Coordination Programs, such as Fracture Liaison Services (FLS), for secondary fracture prevention. The Capture the Fracture® initiative guides healthcare systems in implementing their own FLS and provides a platform for the global exchange of existing projects and resources on FLS and local implementation strategies. The initiative serves to drive changes at local and regional levels to prioritize secondary fracture prevention. Its aim is to set global best practices for Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) while serving as a benchmark tool to which clinics and hospitals can adhere and aspire to and receive international recognition. The CTF program has a diverse set of tools that provide essential resources and documentation to build the case for prioritization of secondary fracture prevention, establish FLS and drive quality improvement in FLS. CTF also offers mentorship programs that support the development of FLS at the local level. Now celebrating its 10th year, the CTF network includes 767 FLS in 50 countries worldwide.  #CaptureTheFracture 

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