Helping GPs care for people with osteoporosis


The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) in partnership with Healthy Bones Australia has released its latest osteoporosis management guide –

Osteoporosis management and fracture prevention in postmenopausal women and men over 50 years of age, 3rd edition, to help GPs care for patients with osteoporosis in communities across Australia.

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins welcomed the release of the new guide “GPs play a vital role helping people with osteoporosis and this guide will help GPs achieve even better patient outcomes,” she said. “Osteoporosis is a chronic disease which can lead to fractures. Risk factors can be investigated to help diagnose and manage osteoporosis to prevent this happening. Many people, including those over 50 years of age, should be aware of their bone health due to the extent of this health issue with Australians living longer and our ageing population.”  

It is estimated osteoporosis and osteopenia affect more than 6 million Australians (2022)

Dr Higgins said “So, there has never been a more important time to help GPs care for people with osteoporosis and osteopenia. I congratulate and thank the authors of this guide and encourage all members to take a good look and share with their colleagues.”

RACGP spokesperson and Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee on Quality Care, Professor Mark Morgan, said “This guide will make a real difference in the care and treatment of people with osteoporosis. It provides clear, evidence-based recommendations to help GPs care for patients aged 50 and over with poor bone health, including osteopenia and osteoporosis.”

Prof Morgan said “The latest edition includes information on preventing first fractures, early diagnosis of osteoporosis that allows superior bone health management before a patient’s condition deteriorates, identifying the condition in undiagnosed patients following an initial fracture to prevent subsequent fractures, and the management of secondary causes of poor bone health.”

Chair of the National Osteoporosis Guideline Review Committee on the Osteoporosis guide, Associate Professor Peter Wong, said that Healthy Bones Australia and the RACGP were committed to providing the most up-to-date advice for GPs and practice teams across Australia.

“Osteoporosis is a serious chronic disease which can lead to fractures. This new edition reflects latest peer reviewed evidence and focuses on optimal management of osteoporosis in the community,” he said.

Prof Wong said “GPs have a range of effective solutions available to tackle this health issue and the new edition provides clear guidance and recommendations on pharmacological management, including use of osteoanabolic therapies, use of fracture risk assessment tools, and the importance of calcium and vitamin D status in patients.

Greg Lyubomirsky CEO Healthy Bons Australia said “the guidelines should be taken seriously by all GPs to address the gap that currently exists in diagnosis and management of osteoporosis. These guidelines have strong evidence-based recommendations that should reduce the incidence of fractures in the community.”  

For GPs