Osteoporosis Awareness

Two of my female family members suffered broken bones {and massive healing problems as a result} due to Osteoporosis. Despite this, I have to admit to knowing very little about this debilitating, and potentially deadly disease.

I {like a lot of Canadians} drink milk, take those vitamins – and cross our fingers that we’ve covered the bases. Yet, when it comes to supplements and vitamins, how much is enough? What are the risk factors for Osteoporosis? And, it there a cut-off in age for prevention?

Until recently I had no idea! 

I was very startled to learn that 1 in 3 Canadian women {and 1 in 5 men} will fall and break a bone because of osteoporosis. A new survey release by Osteoporosis Canada, in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart, reveals startling gaps in Canadians knowledge when it comes to Osteoporosis Awareness.

Additional stats and survey findings reveal:

  • Even though 1.4 million Canadians have osteoporosis, only 5% of respondents rated themselves as knowledgeable about osteoporosis and the serious consequences it can have on their health {and only 1% of Albertans!}.
  • Each year in Canada, broken bones caused by osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined for women over the age of 50.
  • In Canada, among people over 50 years old, 80% of broken bones are caused by osteoporosis,  while 80% of Canadians who break a bone are never assessed for possible underlying osteoporosis.
  • As of 2010, the overall yearly cost to the Canadian healthcare system for treating osteoporosis and the fractures it causes was over $2.3 billion.
  • By 2035, it is estimated that almost 42,000 individuals per year will experience a broken hip, meaning that those in their 30s and 40s now are at risk.

A bowl of food with broccoli

Simple steps are taken in your 30s, can reduce the risk!

“Many people think that osteoporosis is a natural part of aging, but this is not the case,” said Dr. Famida Jiwa, President and CEO of Osteoporosis Canada. “Every year, thousands of Canadian women break bones due to undiagnosed osteoporosis, despite the fact that the disease can be effectively managed, and in some cases prevented. We strongly encourage everyone over 30 to speak to a healthcare professional about osteoporosis and the steps that they can take to protect themselves.”

To reduce the risks of Osteoporisis, ensuring your diet is rich with calcium, supplementing with vitamin D and adding regular exercise to your daily or weekly routine tohelp build bone strength. Although guidelines recommend consumption of 1000-1200 mg of calcium per day, most women fail to reach this level with their dietary intake – many only getting 300 mg/day. 

As part of this effort for better bone health, Osteoporosis Canada has joined forces with Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, whose pharmacists have received specialized training in the prevention, management and treatment of osteoporosis. Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix pharmacists are equipped to provide education and advice to patients about osteoporosis management and reducing the risk. In addition, Osteoporosis Canada is lending its endorsement to Life Brand Vitamin D and Calcium products, to help in the prevention and management of Osteoporosis.

Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix is committed to Putting Women’s Health First, which is why Shoppers Drug Mart launched SHOPPERS LOVE.YOU. program in 2015. SHOPPERS LOVE.YOU. is a program that helps women stay focused on making their own health a priority.

A man and a woman sitting at a table

“Shoppers Drug Mart is thrilled to be working with Osteoporosis Canada, helping to further educate Canadian women about osteoporosis,’’ said Prajapati. ‘‘Pharmacists’ expanded scope of practice offers further convenience to our customers and patients and, in this instance, knowledgeable information, to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis in Canadians.”

For more information about protecting your bones, visit your local Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist or osteoporosis.ca.



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