Smoking, Alcohol, Being Underweight, Poor Nutrition Harm Our Bones

Armen Hareyan's picture
Advertisement

If you smoke, drink more than two units of alcohol a day, are underweight, don't exercise or eat well, you could be setting yourself up for osteoporosis later in life, according to a new report issued today by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) on the occasion of World Osteoporosis Day (WOD).

The new report Beat the Break: Know and Reduce Your Osteoporosis Risk Factors describes the common risk factors, both modifiable and fixed, that place people at greater risk of osteoporosis.

IOF Chief Executive Officer Daniel Navid noted: "By 2050, it is estimated that incidence of hip fracture, a major consequence of osteoporosis, will increase by 310 and 240 percent in men and women. Osteoporosis-related fractures often imply pain, loss of function and, in the worse cases, death."

Advertisement

Professor Cyrus Cooper, author of the "Beat the Break" report and IOF board member, said, "Worldwide, the incidence of osteoporosis is growing at epidemic proportions - we now know that one woman in three and one man in five over fifty will experience an osteoporotic fracture."

Beat the Break is also the theme of World Osteoporosis Day 2007, celebrated on October 20 with international activities in more than eighty countries. To beat the break and avoid fractures, IOF urges individuals to take the new IOF One Minute Osteoporosis Risk Test and to follow a bone-friendly lifestyle - with a nutritious diet including sufficient calcium and vitamin D, regular exercise, avoiding smoking and excess alcohol.

Modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis primarily arise because of unhealthy diet or lifestyle choices. They include poor nutrition, low body mass index, eating disorders, alcohol, smoking, and insufficient exercise.

Fixed risk factors are those that individuals are born with or cannot alter. They include age, gender, family history of fracture, the presence of a previous fracture, ethnicity, and the onset of early menopause. It is important to be aware of these fixed risks so steps can be taken to reduce loss of bone minerals.

Advertisement