Osteoporosis: Early Detection - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:28 am on 19 January 2023.

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Photo of Lord Black of Brentwood Lord Black of Brentwood Conservative 11:28, 19 January 2023

My Lords, osteoporosis affects half of women and a fifth of men over the age of 50, but all too frequently its late diagnosis means broken bones, pain, reduced independence and, sometimes, life-changing disability. Yet there is no excuse for that, because we have it in our power to identify those most at risk. Is my noble friend aware that almost two-thirds of people with one of three major risk factors have never received a bone health assessment, while a simple and cheap assessment tool proven to prevent hip fractures can be used in five minutes in a GP’s surgery? As the costs of helping people recover from fractures are far higher than the costs of identifying and treating those at risk, should the National Screening Committee not urgently reconsider the case for a targeted national screening programme, so that as a country we invest just millions of pounds in preventing harm rather than billions in managing failure?