Almost a quarter of all Australians aged 70 or older (24 per cent) with osteoporosis risk factors have not undergone a bone mineral density test, according to a worrying report.
The report summarises data from more than 104,000 Australians who completed the organisation's Know Your Bones online self-assessment tool, which was developed in partnership with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
The test aims to help Australians understand their risks of developing osteoporosis, while also providing personalised recommendations about bone health, which can be shared with a GP for further discussion.
Healthy Bones Australia chair Peter Ebeling said the report revealed a clear shortfall in investigation of those at risk, as well as inadequacies in terms of treatment.
"The report is showing gaps in care, with one-in-two (52 per cent) adults who reported a bone fracture, yet to undergo a bone mineral density (BMD) test to investigate their bone health, Professor Ebeling said.
In addition, it found half of all fractures are occurring in adults aged 50-69 years, while 87 per cent of those who had reported a fracture are not taking osteoporosis medication despite having clear risk factors.
The report calls for earlier investigation of bone health and greater emphasis on medical intervention to reduce preventable fractures. It also calls on Australian adults to lead bone-healthy lifestyles to minimise their risk of developing osteoporosis.
Healthy Bones Australia chief executive Greg Lyubomirsky said the organisation is pleased so many Australians are using the self-assessment tool.
"However, we need to close this gap between identifying risk factors, and taking action," he said.
"The report also confirms lifestyle risk factors are common, and addressing inadequate calcium and vitamin D levels, lack of exercise and smoking, excessive alcohol intake, are important for supporting bone health."
To complete the online assessment click here.
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