Background: To evaluate the impact of osteoporosis on the patients' quality of life, particularly in the absence of fractures. Methods: 100 post-menopausal women (age 50-85) already treated for primary osteoporosis were studied, using two validated questionnaires: Qualeffo-41 for quality of life in osteoporosis, and Zung for depression. Data were compared to those of 35 controls of comparable age, affected by a different chronic disease (hypothyroidism). Results: 62 women had uncomplicated osteoporosis and 38 had osteoporosis complicated by vertebral fractures. Body mass index, age at menopause, education level, family history of osteoporosis, T-score of spine were not different in the two subgroups, nor in the control group. The patients affected by osteoporosis perceived it as a disease affecting their personal life with undesirable consequences: chronic pain (66% of women with fractures and 40% of women without fractures), impaired physical ability, reduced social activity, poor well-being (21% of women without fractures) and depressed mood (42% of women irrespective of fractures). Overall, 41% of the women showed a reduced quality of life. On the contrary, in the control group only 11% reported a reduced quality of life. Conclusions: The quality of life of osteoporotic patients should be investigated even before fractures, in order to develop appropriate counselling, support and care interventions to help patients develop efficient strategies for accepting the disease and coping with it.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health