Thousands get early osteoporosis diagnosis after using risk checker launched with Her Majesty The Queen


26 May 2023

UK’s first bone health risk checker reaches over 100,000 people in six months, with over 20,000 urged to see GP about elevated risk

Over 100,000 people have used an online bone health tool in its first six months and 21,671 of them were found to have key risk factors for osteoporosis. The tool asks for information about lifestyle, family history and medications or other conditions, to consider a person’s risk of developing the condition.  

The risk checker is the first tool of its kind in the UK, developed by the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) at a time when delays in diagnosis and low public awareness are causing 90,000 people every year to miss out on the therapies they need to avoid life-changing fractures. 

Osteoporosis affects 3.5 million people in the UK, causing bones to weaken and break (fracture) following simple injuries. These fractures are the fourth greatest cause of premature death and disability despite the range of safe and effective treatments available.

Taking action early through a healthy diet, exercise and supplementation, or getting into the NHS more quickly can make a dramatic difference to quality of life. In just five minutes, people who take the osteoporosis risk checker receive free, tailored advice about their risk of developing the condition and practical tips on how to take action to protect their bone health.

Osteoporosis patient, Siobhán Lees, said:

I was upset when I was first diagnosed as I felt like I was doing everything I could to keep myself healthy. If I’d known when I first fractured my ankle at 52 that I had risk factors for osteoporosis and that I could be at risk of developing the condition, I might have been able to make changes to protect my bones. 

 “Instead, I ended up sleepwalking towards my osteoporosis diagnosis. The osteoporosis risk checker is helping to catch people like me who are otherwise slipping through the net. My message to everyone is there are changes you can make to protect your bone health. As they say, knowledge is power!”

Since the tool launched 21,671 people (21%) have been told they have key risk factors that warrant an urgent trip to see their doctor. In response to a follow up survey, early data shows 36% spoke to a GP after getting their results and 260 people have now been diagnosed. Given the size of the evaluation sample, the true figure is likely to mean several thousand new diagnoses as a result of the campaign.

Osteoporosis causes 500,000 broken bones every year in the UK but there are safe and effective medications available on the NHS.

Craig Jones, Chief Executive of the Royal Osteoporosis Society, said:

“In the UK we spend £4.5 billion on managing osteoporotic fractures, rather than preventing them, creating an immense burden for our already overstretched NHS.

“With an early diagnosis, osteoporosis is treatable and fractures preventable. The success of this risk checker is all about getting people at higher risk the therapies they need quicker, and we’re just getting started in seizing the opportunities to change lives thanks to early diagnoses.”

Launching the risk checker, in a previous message, Her Majesty The Queen, said:

“Both my grandmother and my mother died as a result of osteoporosis. At the time, the disease was seldom discussed, rarely diagnosed and was usually acknowledged as an unavoidable part of growing older. 

“Osteoporosis continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of millions of people and the people they love. But now, thankfully, we know far more about the causes, symptoms and available treatments. I would like to encourage you to “check your risk” and to discover the easy steps that we can all take to improve bone health throughout our lives.” 

To check your osteoporosis risk, please visit

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