Italian Health Minister joins international call for secondary fracture prevention

October 18, 2012

A newly released IOF report for World Osteoporosis Day, 'Capture the Fracture - A global campaign to break the fragility fracture cycle', clearly outlines the care gap which is leaving millions of fracture patients undiagnosed and without treatment for osteoporosis or assessment for falls risk.

IOF CEO Judy Stenmark stated, "An adult who has experienced a first fragility fracture - often at the wrist or vertebrae - is at double the risk of having a fracture as compared to someone who hasn't fractured. Despite this red flag indicating osteoporosis and high risk of subsequent fractures, only around two out of 10 fracture patients are tested or treated for osteoporosis or assessed for falls risk."

The report provides examples of successful models of multidisciplinary, coordinator-based post-fracture care that are being implemented in clinics and hospitals around the world. These models have been shown to be cost effective in preventing secondary fractures.

Professor Maria Luisa Brandi, President of Fondazione Raffaella Becagli (F.I.R.M.O), explained, "Fractures due to osteoporosis are a tremendous burden to society as a whole, causing suffering and disability and having serious long-term consequences for a patient's quality of life and ability to live independently. The health economic costs of fractures are exorbitant. In Italy alone we spend 1.5 billion euros for the surgical treatment and initial rehabilitation of fracture patients aged 65 and over. This does not include additional costs resulting from disability and subsequent need for nursing home care, nor does it capture the vast majority of patients who suffer vertebral fractures, of which 80% never come to clinical attention."

The press event was organized by F.I.R.M.O and IOF in collaboration with S.E. Monsignor Zygmunt Zimoski on behalf of the Vatican Council of Health Workers (Pontificio Consiglio degli Operatori Sanitari). Professor Renato Balduzzi, Italian Minister of Health, spoke about the burden of osteoporosis and fragility fractures in Italy. Additional speakers at the event included Professor Marco D'Imporzano, president of the Società Italiana di Ortopedia e Traumatologia (SIOT), and Claudia Castellani, an osteoporosis patient who spoke about her personal experience with osteoporosis and fractures.

"Any patient aged 50 or over who has experienced a first fracture should insist on testing for osteoporosis. We also urge doctors, clinics, hospitals and health authorities to work together to implement the multidisciplinary, coordinator based models of care that have been shown to be effective in reducing secondary fractures," commented IOF President John Kanis.

He concluded, "We believe this to be the single most effective way to fight the growing epidemic of fractures in Europe's ageing population."
The report can be downloaded at

About IOF

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the world's largest nongovernmental organization devoted to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. IOF members--including committees of scientific researchers, patient, medical and research societies, and industry representatives from around the globe--share a common vision of musculoskeletal health without fragility fractures. IOF now represents more than 200 societies in all regions of the world.

About World Osteoporosis Day

World Osteoporosis Day is observed annually on 20 October, and launches a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. Led by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), World Osteoporosis Day generates worldwide media and public awareness campaigns by national osteoporosis patient societies from around the world with activities in more than 90 countries.

International Osteoporosis Foundation

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