1. Osteoporosis is the same as Brittle Bone Disease
No, they are different diseases, although both substantially increase fracture risk.
2. Osteoporosis is part of normal ageing
Whilst incidence increases with age, it is not viewed as a normal part of the ageing process.
3. Osteoporosis does not affect many people.
Wrong, it does! Osteoporosis affects over 3 million people in the UK including 250,000 in Scotland, (Age UK 2015, IOF 2015, NOS 2015). 50% of people age 75+ are affected by osteoporosis (NOS 2015)
4. Osteoporosis just affects females
Wrong! 1 in 2 females over 50 years and 1 in 5 males over 50 years will suffer a fracture in their remaining lifetime (NOS 2015).
5. Hip fractures are not serious
They are, especially in people over age 70 years as they are a leading cause of mortality and morbidity, especially high mortality in males over age 70 years.
6. Health care staff can easily ‘spot’ osteoporosis.
No, they may not as it is a hidden condition. It is often ‘silent’ in its presentation until fractures occur, and diagnosis requires specialized scans.
7. The impacts of osteoporosis are physical
Yes, osteoporosis can have a major physical impact, but also it can have profound psychological and social impacts.
8. Vertebral fractures are rare
No. These are the most common of all osteoporosis related fractures, but they tend to be under diagnosed or can be missed.
9. Osteoporosis is a disease that is well understood by all healthcare professionals.
Unfortunately, we know this is not the case. Misconceptions abound, even amongst healthcare staff.