fastingIn its draft quality standard on osteoporosis NICE says those at medium or high risk and diagnosed with osteoporosis should be offered medicines to help strengthen their bones and prevent fractures.

Affecting around three million people in the UK, osteoporosis is a progressive condition in which the bones become weakened, making them fragile and more likely to break. The bones in the wrist, hip and spine are particularly susceptible to fracture in people with osteoporosis.

More than one in three women and one in five men will sustain one or more osteoporotic fractures (called fragility fractures, that typically occur from a simple fall from standing height) in their lifetime and in England and Wales this equates to around 180,000 fractures every year.

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director of health and social care at NICE said: “Fragility fractures can cause substantial pain and severe disability, often leading to a reduced quality of life and sometimes to a shorter life expectancy.

“With direct medical costs from fragility fractures projected to increase to over £2 billion by 2025, they are also very expensive for the NHS.

“That’s why it’s important that we have clear standards in place to reflect national priorities for improvement, promote best practice and help all those involved in delivering services to provide the very best, cost effective, levels of care.”