Helping GPs care for patients with osteoporosis

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) is helping GPs care for patients with osteoporosis in communities across Australia.

It comes following the College, in partnership with healthy Bones Australia, releasing its latest osteoporosis management guide, the Osteoporosis management and fracture prevention in postmenopausal women and men over 50 years of age, 3rd edition.

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins welcomed the release of the new guide.

“GPs play a vital role helping people with osteoporosis and this guide will help GPs achieve even better patient outcomes,” she said.

“Osteoporosis is a chronic disease which can lead to fractures. Risk factors can be investigated to help diagnose and manage osteoporosis to prevent this happening. Many people, including those over 50 years of age, should be aware of their bone health due to the extent of this health issue with Australians living longer and our ageing population. One report conducted just over a decade ago predicted that by 2022 more than six million people aged over 50 years would have osteoporosis or osteopenia, which is a term we use to describe a decrease in bone mineral density not quite low enough to meet the criteria for someone to be considered osteoporotic, an increase of 31% from 2012.

“So, there has never been a more important time to help GPs care for people with osteoporosis and osteopenia. I congratulate and thank the authors of this guide and encourage all members to take a good look and share with their colleagues.”

RACGP spokesperson and Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee on Quality Care, Professor Mark Morgan, said that the guide included the best available advice for the management of this condition.

“This guide will make a real difference in the care and treatment of people with osteoporosis,” he said.

“It provides clear, evidence-based recommendations to help GPs care for patients aged 50 and over with poor bone health, including osteopenia and osteoporosis. We know our GPs do a tremendous job helping patients with these conditions and those at risk of developing them, and this guidance can act as a useful, extra tool to support clinical judgment on a patient by patient basis.

“The latest edition includes information on preventing first fractures, early diagnosis of osteoporosis that allows superior bone health management before a patient’s condition deteriorates, identifying the condition in undiagnosed patients following an initial fracture to prevent subsequent fractures, and the management of secondary causes of poor bone health.”

Chair of the National Osteoporosis Guideline Review Committee on the Osteoporosis guide, Associate Professor Peter Wong, said that Healthy Bones Australia and the RACGP were committed to providing the most up-to-date advice for GPs and practice teams across Australia.

“Osteoporosis is a serious chronic disease which can lead to fractures. This new edition reflects latest peer reviewed evidence and focuses on optimal management of osteoporosis in the community,” he said.

“GPs have a range of effective solutions available to tackle this health issue and the new edition provides clear guidance and recommendations on pharmacological management, including use of osteoanabolic therapies, use of fracture risk assessment tools, and the importance of calcium and vitamin D status in patients.

“It also includes a ‘special issues’ section that features updated recommendations on delayed dental healing and the management of bone health in patients. Each section in this new edition has been reviewed and updated with current peer-reviewed evidence by a bone expert with subspeciality expertise, to give GPs the highest standard of guidance and information.”


/Public Release.