University of Sydney Millions of people especially women are suffering from osteoporosis, a disorder often leading to fractures. Scientists from the University of Sydney declare that the impact of fractures from osteoporosis causes a great decline in the quality of life. It was mentioned that the damage is very much like or worse than that endured by patients with diabetes, arthritis, lung disease and other chronic illnesses.

The study encompassed 2904 women in the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) survey. 25 percent of these participants had a previous fracture. Health surveys of around 60,000 postmenopausal women in 10 countries were examined by the investigators. During the analysis a standardized index was utilized for measuring five dimensions of health such as mobility, self-care, usual activities, pain or discomfort, anxiety and depression.

“Nearly 60,000 women are participating in GLOW worldwide. Approximately 40 percent of women over 50 will suffer a fracture and the most common sites are the hip, spine and wrist. These fractures often carry with them chronic pain, reduced mobility, loss of independence, and especially in the case of hip fracture, an increased risk of death. Because the likelihood of fractures increases substantially with older age, fracture numbers are projected to rise as the population ages,” elucidated Dr Philip Sambrook, Professor of Rheumatology at Sydney Medical School and co-author of the article.

The authors then compared these surveys to the overall health status, physical function, vitality of participants and assessed their health-related quality of life. The quality of life was ascertained to be strongly hampered by fractures of the spine, hip and upper leg. GLOW is an international study of women aged 55 years and older. These women had reported to have previously visited their primary care physician two years before being a part of the study.

Dr Sambrook shared, “Our study showed that fractures result in significant reductions in quality of life that are as lasting and as disabling as other chronic conditions. We also found the greater the number of fractures, the greater the disability. This suggests that efforts are needed to prevent fractures from occurring.”

The study comprised approximately 60,000 women who were recruited by more than 700 primary care physicians in 17 cities of 10 countries. These countries include Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and United States. Data about fracture risk factors, treatments, patient behaviors, and fracture outcomes over a five-year period is currently being accumulated.

The study is published online in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal.