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Palliser Primary Care Network

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Osteoporosis Month

Osteoporosis Canada designates November as its National Osteoporosis Month to help bring awareness to both the importance of bone health throughout life and the consequences of fragility fractures caused by osteoporosis.

In Canada, at least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will sustain a fracture due to osteoporosis in their lifetime. In fact, over 80% of all fractures in people over the age of 50 are from osteoporosis. Such fractures are more common than breast cancer, heart attack and strokes combined.

Most of our bone strength is built during adolescence, with the most growth occurring between ages 11-14 for females and 13-17 for males. By the age of 20 most of our skeletal growth is complete, and by the age of 30 our bodies start breaking down old bone faster than our ability to build new bones.  This loss leads to thinning of the bones and increased risk of fractures due to osteoporosis.


  • Get enough calcium intake by eating calcium rich foods first. If you are unable to meet your calcium needs through food, take a supplement to meet the amount you require.

  • Get adequate Vitamin D to help increase the absorption of calcium. 

Age   Calcium (mg/day)    Vitamin D (IU/day)
4–8 years 1000 600
9–18 years 1300 600
19–50 years 1000 600
51–70 years: Men 1000 600
51–70 years: Women1200 800
70+ years 1200 800

  • Because our bodies respond to carrying extra loads by becoming stronger, it is important to get regular weight bearing physical exercise such as brisk walking, running, skating, dancing, hiking, and aerobics.

Reducing the chance of osteoporosis and associated fractures is a lifetime process. Whether you are young or old, it is never too late to start making changes that could help reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis or having an osteoporotic fracture.

References: (2017). Osteoporosis Canada - education and support for the risk-reduction and treatment of osteoporosis. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017].

Alberta Milk. (2017). Bone Health | Alberta Milk. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017].

Healthy Bones. (2017). [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017].

Submitted by Heather Fournier, RN at South Shore Medical Clinic