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Osteoporosis campaign launched

British women are among the most susceptible in Europe to osteoporosis-related hip fractures, according to a medical research organisation.

Synexus is trying to raise awareness about the condition by encouraging people to "Share the Knowledge" with those who might be at risk.

As part of the campaign Synexus is offering free DXA scans to women over the age of 65 at one of seven centres between now and January 2009.

Osteoporosis affects as many as three million people in the UK, with one in three women likely to be affected by the time they are 50.

The lifetime risk of a hip fracture due to osteoporosis is greater than the risk of breast cancer. Despite this only around a third of those at risk of osteoporosis are being offered scans which can measure bone density, Synexus said.

By being aware of the risks of osteoporosis, it is estimated that between half and two-thirds of the fractures which typically result from osteoporosis could be prevented.

The 75,000 hip fractures which occur each year due to osteoporosis cost the NHS £1.4bn.

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