University of Adelaide Visiting Professor Chris Nordin AO says 16,000 people are hospitalised in Australia each year with hip fractures – most of which he considers are preventable with diet and lifestyle.
Professor Nordin, who has more than 50 years’ experience in his field, will be among 70 national experts on osteoporosis and nutrition at a two-day workshop at the Adelaide Festival Centre later this week.
Medical experts will discuss the importance of calcium, Vitamin D, a low-salt diet and exercise in the prevention of osteoporosis and the urgent need for a national bone density measurement test for all women at menopause.
“There is no public preventive policy at either State or Commonwealth level, despite osteoporosis costing the country at least $1 billion each year in the management of fractures,” Professor Nordin says. “The indirect costs far exceed that figure.”
Professor Nordin says many women are unaware that their calcium requirements rise sharply once they reach menopause and unless they take more calcium their bone density will fall.
He and his colleagues are pushing for a free bone density test for women at menopause to detect those who are at greatest risk of osteoporosis in the future.
“If the risk is high, these women will be given appropriate advice and encouraged to take responsibility for their own bone health,” he says.
“The amount of calcium that people consume on a daily basis through a normal diet is generally not sufficient for post-menopausal women and as they get older they require more Vitamin D as well. Supplements may be necessary to prevent osteoporosis and reduce this scourge of old age,” he says.
Professor Chris Nordin is a Visiting Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Adelaide and an emeritus specialist in endocrinology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Organised by the University of Adelaide’s Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Nutritional Physiology (CCRE) and the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the Osteoporosis Prevention workshop is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.
WHAT: Osteoporosis Prevention Workshop
WHERE: Adelaide Festival Centre
WHEN: Friday 5 March and Saturday 6 March