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Regional Differences Exist in Diagnosis, Treatment and Care of Osteoporosis Across Canada

MISSISSAUGA, ON (October 20, 2020) – Osteoporosis affects approximately 1.4 million Canadians including an estimated 1 in 4 women and more than 1 in 8 men over the age of 50.1  However, according to A Scorecard for Osteoporosis in Canada and Seven Canadian Provinces, a recent study evaluating the burden and management of osteoporosis in Canada, there are significant provincial differences in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of osteoporosis across the country.2

According to the study authors, interventions are needed to close the osteoporosis treatment gap and minimize care discrepancies across the country.

Twenty elements related to osteoporosis management were scored across four areas: burden of disease, policy framework, service provision, and service uptake.

While Canada performed well on several elements of osteoporosis care, including high uptake of risk assessment algorithms and minimal wait times for hip fracture surgery, there are currently no established fracture registries in the country and reporting on individuals with high fracture risk who remain untreated was limited. Furthermore, osteoporosis is not an official health priority in most provinces, access to diagnosis and treatment was inconsistent across the provinces and provincial reimbursement policies did not align with clinical guidelines.

“Osteoporosis is a serious health issue that can have significant consequences. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can significantly impact someone’s mobility, independence and overall quality of life,” said Dr. David Kendler, Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology, University of British Columbia. “From both a health and economic perspective, we need to look at how we can consistently do better when it comes to assessing and treating Canadians living with this condition.”

Making Osteoporosis a National Priority
According to the study authors, Canada and its provinces would benefit from:

Doing so will help ensure that the diagnosis, treatment and care of osteoporosis becomes a national priority and that those Canadians living with the condition benefit from enhanced healthcare system support.

About the Scorecard for Osteoporosis in Canada and Seven Canadian Provinces
The framework used to develop the Canadian Scorecard was adapted from the Scorecard for Osteoporosis in Europe (SCOPE), an extensive analysis conducted for the 27 countries of the European Union (EU) in 2013.

In addition to a national-level analysis, the framework was expanded to seven Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland) in order to identify regional variations in osteoporosis care.

As progress is made, the scorecard can serve as a benchmark to measure advancements in osteoporosis management and care.

The development of the Scorecard for Osteoporosis in Canada and Seven Provinces was supported financially by Amgen Canada.

About Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become thin and porous, decreasing bone strength and leading to increased risk of breaking a bone.3  The most common sites of broken bones from osteoporosis are the wrist, hip, spine, and shoulder.3 Osteoporosis can strike at any age, however it mainly affects women after menopause as their ability to form new bone cannot counterbalance the rate at which bone is being removed.3,4  This bone loss leads to weakened bones over time, increasing the potential for a break.3

At least one in three women and one in five men will suffer a broken bone from osteoporosis during their lifetime.3 Broken bones from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.3 One in three people who break a hip will re-break it at one year, and over one in two will suffer another bone break within five years.3

The World Health Organization has officially declared osteoporosis a public health crisis5, while the International Osteoporosis Foundation urges governments worldwide to make osteoporosis a healthcare priority.6

About Amgen Canada
As a leader in innovation, Amgen Canada understands the value of science. With main operations located in Mississauga, Ontario’s vibrant biomedical cluster, and its research facility in Burnaby, B.C., Amgen Canada has been an important contributor to advancements in science and innovation in Canada since 1991. The company contributes to the development of new therapies and new uses for existing medicines in partnership with many of Canada’s leading health-care, academic, research, government and patient organizations. To learn more about Amgen Canada, visit

Natasha Bond, Head of Corporate Affairs
Amgen Canada

1International Osteoporosis Foundation Facts and Statistics Accessed Sept 14, 2020.
2Kendler, D., Adachi, J., Brown, J., Juby, A., Kovacs, C., Duperrouzel, C., . . . Burke, N. (2020). A scorecard for osteoporosis in Canada and seven Canadian provinces. Osteoporosis International. doi:10.1007/s00198-020-05554-2
3Osteoporosis Canada. Osteoporosis Facts and Statistics. Accessed September 28, 2020.
4International Osteoporosis Foundation. The Global Burden of Osteoporosis: A Factsheet. Available at: Accessed September 28, 2020.
5The World Health Organization. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. Exercise interventions: defusing the world's osteoporosis time bomb. Available at: Accessed September 28, 2020.
6International Osteoporosis Foundation. Global Initiatives. Available at Accessed September 28, 2020.