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New osteoporosis guideline promises improved fracture protection

The National Osteoporosis Guidelines Group (NOGG), with thesupport of a wide coalition of professional and patient organisations have launched a new guideline to improve theassessment of fracture risk and identify the most appropriatetreatment, where required, for the three million people in the UKliving with osteoporosis.

Following recent advances in our understanding of how osteoporosis can best be managed and treated, current clinical guidanceurgently needs updating. Although this is recognised by NICE, theircurrent guidance is limited to postmenopausal women who have alreadysuffered a fracture, does not include men or people taking steroids andexcludes some of the newer treatments for osteoporosis.

Effectivemanagement is key to reducing the vast number of painful and disablingfractures, totalling more than 230,000 every year, and cutting theannual NHS bill of over £1.73bn.

"Inlight of recent appraisals by NICE and the availability of the newfracture risk assessment tool, FRAX®, from the World HealthOrganization (WHO),the National Osteoporosis Guideline has been developed to reduce thecurrent gap in osteoporosis care and improve outcomes for patients,"explained Juliet Compston, Professor of Bone Medicine Universityof Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine and Addenbrooke's NHS Trust,and Chair of the NOGG.

Claire Severgnini,Chief Executive of the National Osteoporosis Society, commented: “Acrossthe UK, millions of people live with osteoporosis but are leftunprotected from the risk of painful and debilitating fractures, withapproximately 20% of people who suffer a hip fracture dying within ayear – that’s over 13,000 in the last 12 months alone.

"The implicationsof this cannot be underestimated, especially since current NICEguidance on osteoporosis is restricted to postmenopausal women who havealready sustained fractures. This guideline will help bridge the gap,bringing about a new standard of care that could help save thousands oflives every year.”

TheNational Osteoporosis Guideline is now being rolled out across the UK,and can be accessed at the NOGG website.