Osteoporosis becoming a major issue in Eastern European countries

Preliminary findings from an upcoming report conducted by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) reveal the state of post-fracture care in Russia and many other countries in the region. The findings were announced at the IOF Summit of Eastern European and Central Asian Osteoporosis Patient Societies.

Population projections for most countries in Eastern Europe predict that by 2050 there will be a decrease of the total population, but a significant increase in the percentage of people age 50 and over. As a result, in Russia alone the number of people with osteoporosis is expected to increase by a third over the next 40 years.

Despite the major public health burden of osteoporosis-related fractures, the disease suffers from severe under recognition. There are no hip or fragility fracture registries in most countries within the region and data on vertebral fractures - the most common osteoporotic fracture - are nonexistent.

DXA technology - diagnostic equipment which provides the most accurate method of diagnosis - is usually only accessible in main cities. Yet in about one-third of the countries, more than 40 percent of the population lives in a rural area. In most countries, drug treatment for those at high risk of fracture is effectively unaffordable for the majority of citizens.

"It is clear from the key findings that governments need to support wide scale epidemiological studies to collect data on the incidence of osteoporotic fractures," said John Kantis, IOF president.