In a bid to narrow the gap between policy talk and policy action, Osteoporosis Australia has released a strategic white paper outlining whole-of-life recommendations for preventing the debilitating bone-wasting disease.
In a clinical focus article in the 4 February issue of the Medical Journal of Australia, Professor Peter Ebeling, an endocrinologist from the University of Melbourne, and colleagues outline the findings of the white paper, Building healthy bones throughout life: an evidence-informed strategy to prevent osteoporosis in Australia.
The white paper is published in full as an MJA Open supplement and details strategies for optimising bone health in children, healthy adults and older Australians. “Osteoporosis currently affects 1.2 million Australians, most of whom do not know they have the disease”, the authors wrote.
“There are also now 6.3 million Australians with osteopenia (reduced bone mineral density). These alarming prevalence rates are set to increase unless our recommendations are now implemented.” Described as a paediatric disease with geriatric consequences, osteoporosis is often not diagnosed until fragility fractures occur, the authors wrote.
Their recommendations revolve around a three-pronged approach: adequate calcium intake; adequate vitamin D levels; and appropriate physical activity. While the white paper details specific recommendations for children, healthy adults and older adults, it also makes general recommendations for all stages of life.
“The core message is that adequate dietary calcium intake and optimal vitamin D level, together with regular weight-bearing exercise and moderate sunlight exposure, are important at all stages of life in healthy individuals”, wrote the authors.
The full white paper is available at MJA Open.
The statements or opinions that are expressed in the MJA reflect the views of the authors and do not represent the official policy of the AMA or the MJA unless that is so stated.