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Members of the public urged to attend Lydia Plus Osteoporosis symposium

Posted: 16th October 2023

· Researchers call for bone-weakening condition to be recognised as a public health priority

People in Scotland are being invited to join healthcare professionals at a groundbreaking symposium on osteoporosis, a silent and common bone-weakening condition, hosted by Queen Margaret University (QMU).

The free event takes place on World Osteoporosis Day (October 20, 2023) and will include practical Scottish stepdance and balance sessions, cooking demonstrations and shared insights from world-leading healthcare experts on topics such as pregnancy-associated osteoporosis, hip fractures, and falls prevention.

Everyone who attends will leave with a great range of lifestyle advice for reducing their risk of developing osteoporosis or, for those living with it, living well beyond the medication. All attendees will also increase their current nutrition knowledge and will receive a goody bag full of bone-healthy recipes and other treats.

Led by QMU healthcare experts, who promote osteoporosis awareness through the Lydia Plus Osteoporosis Project, it aims to increase awareness of the disease which the University’s researchers believe should be escalated to a public health priority.

The lives of around 50% of individuals aged 75 and above are impacted by osteoporosis. In the UK, it affects over 3 million people, including 250,000 in Scotland, causing approximately 527,000 fractures each year. Although it is frequently perceived as a condition primarily affecting postmenopausal women (affecting 1 in 2 women over 50), evidence indicates that osteoporosis affects approximately 1 in 5 men over the age of 50. Given its often ‘silent’ progression until fractures occur, it frequently evades diagnosis until it reaches an advanced stage.

Osteoporosis is a common condition which silently undermines bone strength over time. Often, it remains undetected until a simple fall or sudden impact results in a debilitating fracture. Typically, individuals with osteoporosis experience fractures in their wrists, hips, or spinal bones. It can even lead to a broken rib or partial spinal bone collapse triggered by a mere cough or sneeze. Older people can develop the characteristic stooped posture as their spinal bones weaken and are unable to bear their body weight.

Dr Karen Matthews leads the Lydia Plus Osteoporosis Project at QMU and is on a mission to highlight the risks of osteoporosis and increase awareness of it as a public health priority. She is urging everyone to come along and learn more about the condition from world-leading health experts.

Dr Matthews said: “Osteoporosis is more widespread than you think within the Scottish population. It is a preventable condition, and individuals living with osteoporosis can manage it better with heightened awareness and simple lifestyle changes. Both healthcare

professionals and the public stand to benefit from improved knowledge about preventing this condition through lifestyle choices, physical activity, and a balanced, bone-healthy diet. This promises to be an enjoyable and informative event that will benefit individuals living with osteoporosis, their families, carers and other health professionals.”

The symposium is free to attend and takes place on 20th October 2023 at Queen Margaret University’s Edinburgh campus from 9AM until 5PM. To find out more visit:

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