Osteoporosis is a potentially debilitating disease that contributes to most fractures in people over the age of 50. This disease leads to low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, which causes an increased risk of fracture. These fractures are most commonly to the wrist, spine, shoulder, and hip. And unfortunately, this disease is often known as the ‘silent thief’ as you can be living with it for years, losing bone mass, without any symptoms until your first fracture occurs. It is estimated that 10% of Canadians over 40 have osteoporosis, or over 2 million people.
Early prevention of osteoporosis is crucial to maintaining good bone health. For this reason, November is Osteoporosis Awareness Month in Canada. Many health care providers and non-profit organizations are working hard to draw awareness to this disease – including us here at the library. Here are some selected resources that you can use to educate yourself about osteoporosis. It should go without saying that if you are concerned about your osteoporosis risk, your first visit should be to your primary care physician.
Osteoporosis Canada is a national organization that serves people affected by osteoporosis – and has excellent resources for preventing it as well. They host many events and webinars, and have exercise recommendations that are intended to reduce falls and fractures. There is also information about how your nutrition might play a role in preventing osteoporosis.
There are also government and medical databases that will have information about this disease. MedlinePlus has a comprehensive article with information about osteoporosis, including some information in different languages. If you are comfortable reading a more detailed article with some medical jargon, also consider looking at UpToDate’s Beyond the Basics article about osteoporosis as well. And of course, for information about how this disease specifically affects Canadians, visit the Government of Canada’s page about osteoporosis.
Finally, our library also has many books that will guide you through exercises and recommended nutrition to help prevent osteoporosis. This link will bring you to the complete list of all osteoporosis resources.
To support Osteoporosis Awareness Month, we have invited the Centre of Arthritis Excellence to deliver a virtual program about osteoporosis self management. This program is intended for anyone with a known diagnosis, or a caregiver to someone with a known diagnosis, or someone who has a history of osteoporosis in their family and is looking for prevention tips. You can register for this program here:
Osteoporosis Canada. Osteoporosis Canada. (2023, October 11). https://osteoporosis.ca/
Public Health Agenda of Canada (2022, June 17). Osteoporosis – Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/chronic-diseases/osteoporosis.html
Public Health Agenda of Canada (2022, August 2). Osteoporosis and related fractures in Canada: Report from the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System 2020 – Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/osteoporosis-related-fractures-2020.html
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2017, March 15). Osteoporosis. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/osteoporosis.html