With the New Year comes the opportunity for new health-related goals. How about adding bone density screening to your list of resolutions?

Testing is one of the best indicators of osteoporosis, a disease in which the quality and density of the bone are reduced, putting people at increased risk of fracture. In fact, one in two—that’s 50%—of women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

The numbers are staggering, however, less than a quarter of Canadian women over 55 believe they’re at risk of osteoporosis, according to an Amgen global survey on women and osteoporosis.

The survey of 6,000 women aged 55 and older in nine countries also revealed that “despite being at high risk due to rapid bone loss after menopause, less than half of Canadian women over 55 have spoken to their doctor about the disease.”

If your resolutions involve health-related goals, talking to your doctor about bone health and ways to prevent and treat osteoporosis is a great place to start.

Photo credit: SMART-Servier Medical ART

Dubbed the ‘silent thief’, bone deterioration can occur over time without presenting any symptoms. Indeed, according to the Amgen study, less than 25% of women age 65 and older feel they could explain osteoporosis to a friend.

However, as with most things health-related, information is power: For more about bone health and bone density testing, the Osteoporosis Canada website is a valuable resource that will give you the knowledge you need to kick-start a conversation with your health-care provider.