On Mother’s Day, IOF urges all women to be aware of their risk for osteoporosis

Mother's Day, celebrated on May 10th in many countries around the world, is an occasion to express appreciation and love for mothers and grandmothers – the pillars of strength for their families. Help keep the women you love strong and mobile by sharing the IOF Osteoporosis Risk Check!

Mothers and grandmothers are most often the primary caregivers in their families, caring for children and grandchildren with love and dedication. As the pillars of strength for their families and communities, women need to maintain the strong bones and muscles, both essential for mobility and independence as we age.

To mark Mother’s Day, the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) calls on all women aged 50 and over to spare just a few moments to check for any potential risks to their long-term bone health by taking the new IOF Osteoporosis Risk Check. Without early prevention, osteoporosis, a disorder which causes bones to become weak and fragile, can result in painful and disabling broken bones (fractures) that take a heavy toll on health and independence. Worldwide, one in three women aged 50 years and over will have a fracture due to osteoporosis.

Through early awareness of osteoporosis risk a woman can take the necessary steps to reduce her risk of future fractures. Common risk factors include: any broken bone after age of 50, early menopause before the age of 45, use of glucocorticoids, rheumatoid arthritis, malabsorption disorders (e.g. celiac or Crohn’s disease), being underweight, and a parental history of osteoporosis and fractures.

Share these important tips to help maintain bone and muscle strength in later life with the women you love:

  • Menopause is the critical time to get your doctor to assess your bone health status. Take the Osteoporosis Risk Check and if you identify risk factors for osteoporosis, ask for a bone health assessment which may include a fracture risk assessment. If indicated, your doctor will recommend a bone mineral density test and, if needed, will prescribe treatment to help prevent broken bones in the future.
  • Exercise 30–40 minutes, three to four times per week and ensure a mix of resistance training and weight-bearing exercise. As you age, resistance training (e.g. using elastic bands, weight machines) becomes increasingly important.
  • Ensure a bone-healthy diet that includes enough dietary calcium and protein, with enough fruits and vegetables for a balanced diet. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D too – through sunlight, diet, and supplementation if required.
  • Avoid negative habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol intake and maintain a healthy body weight. Women who are underweight are at higher risk compared to those with a normal body mass index.
  • Learn more about osteoporosis and its prevention and treatment by visiting the IOF website or contacting your local osteoporosis society.