, 8:155

Concern and risk perception of osteoporosis and fracture among post-menopausal Australian women: results from the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) cohort

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify factors associated with concern and perception of risks of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures and determine whether bone mineral density (BMD) testing influenced concern and risk perception.

Methods

Study subjects (n = 1,082, age 55–94 years) were female Australian participants of the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW). Self-administered questionnaires were sent annually from 2007 to 2010. Study outcomes included ‘concern about osteoporosis’, ‘perception of getting osteoporosis’ and ‘perception of fracture risk’ compared to similar aged women. The closest post-BMD testing or baseline questionnaires were used for women with and without BMD testing, respectively. Multinomial logistic regression was used for the analysis.

Results

BMD testing, prior fracture after age 45, younger age and lower self-reported general health were significantly associated with being ‘very’ or ‘somewhat concerned’ about osteoporosis and having a ‘much higher’ or ‘little higher’ risk perception of osteoporosis and fractures. A poorer BMD result was associated with higher concern and higher risk perceptions. The presence of comorbidities, having ≥2 falls in the preceding year and maternal osteoporosis were associated with higher concern. Maternal osteoporosis, presence of comorbidities, weight loss of ≥5 kg in the preceding year and low body mass index were associated with higher perceptions of osteoporosis risk.

Conclusion

Women's concern and risk perception of osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures were reasonably well founded. However, increasing age, height loss, smoking and drinking were not associated with concern and perception despite being known osteoporosis risk factors. These factors should be considered in planning for education and awareness raising programmes.