New Data Suggests Nearly Half of Women Neglect to Take Action Against Osteoporosis
While nearly three-quarters of Americans (71%) are aware of the effects that osteoporosis can have on their health, only about half report taking any steps to prevent it,1 according to the results of a new survey has announced by Hologic (Nasdaq: HOLX). To mark the start of National Osteoporosis Month, Hologic is raising awareness of this major threat to women's health, which affects nearly 56 million Americans.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes low bone density, leading to weaker bones that are more likely to break. In fact, osteoporosis causes two million broken bones in the U.S. each year, which result in more than half a million hospitalizations, more than 800,000 emergency room visits, more than 2.6 million trips to the doctor, and the placement of nearly 180,000 people into nursing homes.2,3
"Osteoporosis is often referred to as the 'silent disease' since it can go undetected for a long period of time, making it even more critical that men and women understand the risk factors and take proactive steps to prevent and identify signs of the disease," said Dr. Andrea Singer, Clinical Director for the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF). "Making simple lifestyle changes and scheduling a bone density scan can go a long way in promoting bone health and preventing osteoporosis."
The NOF recommends that postmenopausal women with certain risk factors, and all women over the age of 65, talk to their doctors about having a DXA scan, also called a bone mineral density test, to assess for osteoporosis. Men over 70 should also be screened, as well as men under 70 if they have specific risk factors. Despite these recommendations, the new survey showed that only 36 percent of women ages 50+ are aware that more women die annually due to the effects of osteoporosis than from breast cancer and cervical cancer combined.1,4,5,6
"Research has shown that women who take the time to get a DXA scan are less likely to suffer an osteoporotic fracture," said Jon Gingrich, Hologic's Vice President & General Manager, Skeletal Health Solutions. "The knowledge of their risk level for osteoporosis, combined with early intervention to slow disease progression, clearly impacts their day-to-day behavior and reduces their risk of fracture. That said, our survey alarmingly illustrated a lack of compliance with testing recommendations. Only 13 percent of women ages 50+ reported getting a DXA scan.1"
Other key takeaways from the survey include:
- Sixty percent of women ages 50+ are concerned about developing osteoporosis.
- Fifty-four percent of women ages 50+ report taking a calcium supplement to prevent osteoporosis, but only 30 percent of the same group report doing weight-bearing exercise.
- Slightly over half of Americans (55%) say they are aware that osteoporosis screening is a preventive service that is covered by insurance without a co-pay.
- Less than half (47%) of women ages 50+ report that their doctor has recommended they get a bone density scan.
Learn more about Hologic and National Osteoporosis Month at www.BoneAwareness.com.
About the Survey
This survey was conducted online within the United States between April 7 and 11, 2016 among 2,157 U.S. adults ages 18 and older by Harris Poll via its Quick Query omnibus product. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error that which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, the words "margin of error" are avoided as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our Harris surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the online panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
1 Harris Poll. Omnibus Survey on Osteoporosis. April 7-11, 2016
2 US Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: Office of the Surgeon General; 2004.
3 Burge R, Dawson-Hughes B, Solomon DH, Wong JB, King A, Tosteson A. Incidence and economic burden of osteoporosis- related fractures in the United States, 2005-2025. J Bone Miner Res. 2007;22(3):465-475.
4 Alliance for Aging Research. The Silver Book: Osteoporosis: Chronic Disease and Medical Innovation in an Aging Nation. Washington, D.C.2008. Online.
Source & Image Credit : Hologic