14 February 2018
Osteoporosis, Osteopenia and Sarcopenia – By Interchange Australia Consultant, Wendy Hughes
Osteoporosis, osteopenia and sarcopenia are conditions associated with ageing and contribute to the higher risk of falls, fractures and debilitation.
Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals more rapidly than our body can replace them, causing our bones to become brittle. Approximately 1.2 million Australians are affected by osteoporosis (11% of men and 27% of women aged 60 years or over). Osteopenia occurs when our bones have a lower density than normal, but not at the Osteoporotic level. Osteopenia can increase chances of developing Osteoporosis. Approximately 6.3 million people in Australia have osteopenia (42% of men and 51% of women). Sarcopenia is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. When you are born, to around the time you turn 30, your muscles grow larger and stronger. At some point in your 30s, you start to lose muscle mass and function. Approximately 6.4% of men and 9.3% of women in Australia have sarcopenia.
The good news is that changes to your lifestyle such as regular exercise, specifically resistance, balance or strength training, can have a major positive impact on your bone strength.
In addition to making healthy changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk of falls, Interchange Australia can also arrange for an occupational therapist to conduct a home audit and suggest important changes to your home environment to further minimise risk.
For more information about our occupational therapy supports or the wide range of activities we offer that can help you stay healthy and active, please call 1300 112 334.