To look more closely at the risks surrounding osteoporosis and the condition in general PatientTalk’s Mason Jones interviewed Claire Severgnini, Chief Executive of the National Osteoporosis Society and Dr Rob Hicks. You can read the interview below!
New research released on World Osteoporosis Day shows that only 3% of all adults surveyed in the UK are aware of the risk of men suffering a fracture due to osteoporosis; and of the 50+ men surveyed, again only 3% correctly estimated the risk.
Almost a quarter of the 2,424 people surveyed perceived the risk to be 1 in 1,000 where in reality the risk is 1 in 5.2 Furthermore, the results show that doctors are not making men aware of the condition, which can result in late diagnosis.
Osteoporosis can lead to painful fractures, disability and even early death, but it can be neglected by doctors during routine consultations. Among the at-risk 50+ men surveyed, 73% said that their doctor had never asked them about their bone health, discussed the risk factors or offered them a bone density scan.
Many people with osteoporosis are living every day in pain and in fear; their lives are shrinking along with their bodies, and they are struggling to hold on to the moments and people they love.4 These are just some of the dramatic findings from the recently commissioned NOS ‘Life with Osteoporosis’ landmark research project.
In fact, in the UK, while only one-third of all hip fractures occur in men, men are in fact twice as likely to die within the first 6 months following injury to their hip when compared with women.
JONES -So first of all only 2% of men over 50 are aware of the risk of Osteoporosis, can you tell me why that is and is that something we should be concerned about?
DR HICKS -I think the fact that only 2% and 1 in 50 man over the age of 50 is aware that they too can be affected by Osteoporosis is something that we should be very concerned about, I mean for a long time many people, men and women alike have thought that Osteoporosis is purely a women’s disease but it’s not although its more common in women, men can be affected too and that’s why we want to raise awareness about this condition Osteoporosis which is often known as brittle bone disease because over the age of 50 within the lifetime 1 in 5 men will suffer a fracture related to having brittle fragile bones , it may be in the wrist , it may be in the spine or it may be in the hip and the knock off affect that is not only the fracture painful and inconvenient but many men are left with long term pain, left disabled, they are less independent than they would like to be and sometimes the consequences of those things a man can become depressed. So we want to raise awareness that men should be thinking about their bones too and off all the different things they can do to look after their bones.
JONES -And obviously people like your selves are trying to do exactly that but should doctors / G.Ps be doing more for that?
DR HICKS -I think this is everybody’s responsibility , I think it’s a team approach so it’s not just the men themselves or the women in their life’s pointing in the direction of Osteoporosis and what it means but also health care professionals and doctors , nurses and pharmacists as well being alert to this fact and I hope that in time we will have the same success over the years that’s already been achieved with making women aware of Osteoporosis so that we won’t need to do surveys about who’s aware within the male community about Osteoporosis because they will be saying , oh I know about that, I’ve had my check up and had a chat with my doctor and I’m taking all the right steps to protect my bones, I’m doing lots of weight bearing exercises , I’m making sure I get calcium and Vitamin D , I’m eliminating the risk factors that increases my chances of Osteoporosis so I’ve stopped smoking, I’m no longer drinking too much alcohol, you know all those sort of things that make Osteoporosis more likely , things that each and every one of us can do to keep our bones strong and healthy.
JONES -And if we do do these things is it fair to say that Osteoporosis is preventable then?
MS SEVERGNINI -Well Osteoporosis itself is often hereditary so it means you are pre disposed to having slightly weaker bones however that said we have actually seen people who have had a bone density scan where you can look at the density of someone’s bones and it might be border line Osteoporosis and through improved diet and improved exercised and a very good conscious effect they have actually improved their bone strength so we know that with peoples bone bank is built up to the age of thirty so a very positive lifestyle in your younger years , good diet , good exercise etc. means that you can actually carry your bone health through later life and by continuing those habits you give your bones the best chance.
JONES -And are there any particular early symptoms people should watch out for?
MS SEVERGNINI – I mean there are some early clinical symptoms especially in women that we’ve talked about before so an early menopause or sometimes people on cancer treatments and then there are diseases and conditions that can impact on Osteoporosis but unfortunately Osteoporosis is known as the silent disease and people don’t know that they have had it until they have broken their first bone , the issue is is that when that first bone is broken it’s incredibly important to know whether it’s a fragility fracture or something more trauma based, so if you just brake a bone through bumping into a doorframe or just slipping of a kerb or noting really traumatic that’s not right and therefore we should be investigating and checking for Osteoporosis and see whether or not it was a fragility fracture to avoid them happening again in the future.
JONES -Today is World Osteoporosis Day, where can people go for more information on the subject?
MS SEVERGNINI – Please visit my charity’s website www.nos.org.uk and if anyone is particularly worried about their bone health we do have nurse helpline and that is 0845 4500 230
Access the NOS ‘Life with Osteoporosis: the Untold Story’ Report, based on the experiences of 3,228 people living with osteoporosis in the UK – see Gary’s Story (age 56) on page 21 and link to video www.nos.org.uk/page.aspx?pid=1622
About the National Osteoporosis Society
The National Osteoporosis Society is the only UK wide charity dedicated to improving the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and fragility fractures. We want every person over the age of 50 who breaks a bone to be assessed and treated for osteoporosis. The charity was established in 1986 and has since grown into a well-respected national charity with approximately 25,000 members and over 50 members of staff.
About International Osteoporosis Foundation
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is the world’s largest Non-Governmental Organisation dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and related musculoskeletal diseases. IOF members, including 225 patient, medical and research societies, work together to make bone, joint and muscle health a worldwide health-care priority. www.iofbonehealth.org; www.facebook.com/iofbonehealth; www.twitter.com/iofbonehealth #LoveYour Bones
As regular readers of the blog will know we has been covering the topics of superbugs and the related issue of MRSA here at PatientTalk.Org.
So we are delighted to share this guest post from MindMetre Research which tells us more about a recent study the contacted in the UK looking at attitudes toward hospital provision and infection.
They share “How far would you go to avoid being treated in a hospital with a poor record for antibiotic-resistant Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs), or ‘superbugs’? The answer – “up to a hundred miles” – according to almost half of British citizens.
Latest research on the subject from MindMetre seeks to calibrate the likelihood of British citizens to insist on treatment at an alternative hospital if their local provider had a below average record of HCAI reduction, along with the distance they would be prepared to go to get treatment in a safer environment.
The findings from the MindMetre study were definitive and clear:
· 76% of citizens say that if they learned that their hospital was a low performer on HCAI reduction, they would insist their GP referred them to a hospital with a better record;
· 83% would be happy to travel 20 miles to be treated in a hospital with a better HCAI reduction record than their local hospital;
· 62% would be happy to travel 50 miles for treatment;
· And 48% would be happy to travel 100 miles in the same situation.
Paul Lindsell, Managing Director at MindMetre Research, comments, “In the new structure of the NHS, with acute clinical services commissioned by GP-managed Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), patient mobility has become a clear and present reality. Patients, in partnership with their GP, can choose to be treated at an Acute Trust of their choice, with the associated funds following the patient. CCGs are clearly charged with the mandate to improve patient outcomes, and so offering this level of patient choice is systemically built in to the new NHS structure.”
“Acute Trusts have done a great job addressing very specific HCAIs, notably MRSA and C.difficile, but there is a rising tide of other infections, and the problem needs to be addressed holistically.”
“This research note clearly demonstrates that Acute Trusts need to take their initiatives to reduce HCAIs even more seriously if they are to avoid patients opting to be treated at a hospital with a better record, with funds following the patient.” ”
Fieldwork was conducted by MindMetre Research between May and July 2014, in person and via online questionnaires, amongst a nationally representative sample of 2,003 British citizens (age, gender, region, social class). Margin of error: – +/- 1.78%
MindMetre, part of the Lindsell Marketing Group, is a leading consumer and business analyst. The organisation has been investigating trends in a number of fields and sectors since the late-1990s, including health & medicine, finance, central & local government and internet technology. Research programmes are regularly conducted across the globe, embracing geographies from the Americas to the Far East. In the healthcare sector, MindMetre is particularly known for its series on healthcare financing, beginning in the early 2000s. All MindMetre research activity strictly protects the privacy and confidentiality of respondents.
Just having returned from a short vacation in Greece I have been forced to look at all the emails I ignored while sipping retsina and eating excellent rabbit cooked with wine and onions.
So I must confess I actually laughed out loud when I read this article from Leicester’s Hospitals.
They said ” It is now easier than ever for patients to buy copies of their x-rays. The Imaging Department at Leicester’s Hospitals has an exciting, new payment machine for patients who want personal copies of their x-ray images.
The new machine has been installed in the x-ray waiting room in the Balmoral building at the Royal. For a flat fee of £10, the images are burned onto an encrypted disc and posted out to patients at home the next working day*.
Colin Ross, superintendent radiographer for Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “We are really pleased to be able to offer this additional service to our patients who often ask our radiographers for copies of their pictures. Until now there has not been a quick and straight forward way for us to do this.”
Colin adds: “Although many hospitals in the UK are able to offer patients the chance to purchase ultrasound pictures of their babies, we are not aware of anywhere else that has one of these machines which allows patients to buy personal copies of their x-ray images.”
The new machine allows patients to pay for copies of their x-ray images by cash or card. It applies to all x-rays taken on the day, but does not extend to scans or historic x-rays.”
But then I remembered years ago my sister tried to buy a copy the x-ray taken of her broken arm. And most parents have copies of the ultrasound scan taken of their children. I have.
On the other hand people in the UK may consider it back door to privatisation of the UK’s National Health Service.
So what do you think? It would be great if you could take the poll below to share your views. Feel free to expand upon them in the comments section below.
Thanks in advance!
Please share our Huntington’s Disease Awareness graphic from Donnee Spencer.
You can find out more about Huntington’s Disease here.
Please like and share to raise awareness.
Hemiplegia effects one in one thousand people.
Hemiplegia is considered type of cerebral palsy that can result from damage to different parts of the brain that control muscle movements. Hemiplegia means the paralysis of one side of the body. A related term, hemiparesis, is a weakness on just one side of the body. The paralysis in the body occurs on the side opposite to the section of affected brain in children with Hemiplegia .
You can find out more about Hemiplegia here.
Find out about Graves Disease and help raise awareness of this autoimmune condition which affects the thyroid. The normal enlargement is called goitre.
This leads to hyperthyroid symptoms such as increased heartbeat, muscle weakness, disturbed sleep, and irritability. It can also cause bulging eyes .