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Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that develops when a person’s bone mass and mineral density decreases, or when there are changes that occur in the strength or structure of the bones. While this disease can occur at any age, risk factors tend to increase when a person gets older. 

Dedicated to raising global awareness about bone health issues that can impact almost any person on the globe, World Osteoporosis Day works to increase knowledge and education about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

History of World Osteoporosis Day

The inaugural observance of World Osteoporosis Day took place in 1996 when it was established through the efforts of the National Osteoporosis Society in the United Kingdom. The event that year was held in collaboration with the European Commission.

The following year, the organizational responsibilities for the day transferred to the International Osteoporosis Society and they have been sponsoring it annually since that time, with co-sponsorship from the World Health Organization (WHO) for certain years.

Throughout the years, World Osteoporosis Day has taken on different themes that have assisted in targeting the efforts and focus for that particular year. Some of the past themes over the decades have included:

  • Building Bone Development in Youth (2021)
  • Signs and Symptoms of Spinal Fractures (2010)
  • Love Your Bones – Protect Your Future (2016 and 2017)
  • That’s Osteoporosis – One Broken Bone Leads to Another (2020)

How to Celebrate World Osteoporosis Day

Learn Key Facts About Osteoporosis 

Get more educated about this disease by learning and sharing facts with others in honor of World Osteoporosis Day. Check out some of these key facts to get started with:

  • One in three women and one in five men over 50 will experience a fragility fracture from osteoporosis

  • Osteoporosis causes almost 9 million fractures throughout the globe each year

  • By 2050, the incidences of hip fractures in men are expected to increase by over 300% and by 240% in women since 1990

Host a World Osteoporosis Day Event

Get everyone in the community involved in raising awareness and supporting efforts toward prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis by hosting an event. This might include a community walk/run for the cause, an educational campaign or some other event. Check out the Osteoporosis Foundation website for toolkits and other resources.  

Prevent Osteoporosis

One of the best ways to celebrate World Osteoporosis Day is to raise awareness about the simple activities people can do to help reduce their risk of developing the disease. Health professionals, parents, fitness instructors, family members and friends can all have a hand in letting people know some of the actions they can take to protect themselves. Consider some of these preventive measures to stave off osteoporosis:

  • Get enough Vitamin D – through sun exposure and/or supplements
  • Include physical activity into each day’s routine
  • Eat a diet that is rich in calcium, including dairy and dark leafy greens like spinach or kale
  • Avoid substance abuse including smoking, and limit alcohol consumption

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