, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 31-36

What do Norwegian women and men know about osteoporosis?

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A survey of a random sample of 1514 Norwegian women and men aged 16–79 years was undertaken to investigate knowledge of osteoporosis and attitudes towards methods for preventing this disease. The interviews were carried out by Central Bureau of Statistics of Norway as part of their monthly national poll using a structured questionnaire. Women knew more about osteoporosis than did men (p<01). In both men and women increased knowledge of osteoporosis was correlated to a high level of education. Furthermore it was clearly demonstrated that knowing someone with osteoporosis or suffering from it oneself increased the knowledge of osteoporosis significantly in both women and men. Multiple regression analysis confirmed the univariate analyses, and education was the strongest predictive factor for knowledge. To a hypothetical question as many as two-thirds of the women answered that they would use long-term hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to prevent osteoporosis on the recommendation of their general practitioner. Their attitudes towards the use of estrogen therapy did not show any significant relation to age, but their reluctance towards HRT increased with education (p<001). When asked a question about their preferences regarding the use of physical activity as a means to prevent osteoporosis, older women preferred walking (p<.001), whereas younger women wanted more organized athletic activity (p<001). The data demonstrated that there was a high degree of general knowledge of osteoporosis and its consequences in the general population.