Two thirds of bone specialists say osteoporosis is a 'neglected condition', according to survey

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25th September 2019 16:55 - Health

Two thirds of bone specialists say osteoporosis is a 'neglected condition': A European survey of bone specialists has revealed that two-thirds (66%) believe osteoporosis is a 'neglected conditon', under prioritised by their country's healthcare system. 

The poll, by global pharma company, UCB, asked 401 bone medicine specialists across 11 countries in Europe (UK, Germany, Spain, France, Netherlands, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland and Romania) about their experiences and perceived prioritisation of osteoporosis and fragility fractures, with just one in ten saying the condition was given high priority.
Nine out of ten (90%) revealed they believe that osteoporosis and fragility fracture manangement should be deemed high priority, with slightly more (91%) saying that if the condition were managed effectively it could result in improved outcomes and a reduction in costs. 
More than eight in 10 specialists said that osteoporosis is a 'silent epidemic' - with just under a quarter (24%) saying their country's healthcare system is equipped to adequately support people diagnosed with the condition. 
Asking about their patients' understanding of the impact of the condition, just a third (33%) said the people they see are fully in the know about the the long-term effects, with more than half (53%) believing their patients view the condition as short-term.
Respondents said that 53% of patients believe that their chances of sustaining a further fracture after their first, is low, or there is no additional risk, when in fact, research has found it increases their chances five fold. .  
The majority of specialists polled (84%) said that GPs need to be better informed about the condition, with less than a third (32%) saying that GPs refer patients in a 'timely manner'.

Dr Kassim Javaid, Consultant Rheumatologist, University of Oxford, said of the research:

“These results confirm what many of us already knew. Every year that goes by, more patients are potentially being denied effective management, leaving them vulnerable to life changing fractures.”

According to UCB, 200 million people around the world are estimated to be affected by the condition, with more than 8.9 million fragility fractures reported each year. 

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