Osteoporosis is a worldwide health issue and the most common skeletal disorder today, with an estimated 300,000 people in Ireland currently living with the condition
After the age of 50, 20% of men and 50% of women will develop a fracture due to osteoporosis, yet most people are unaware of declining bone health until a fracture occurs.
The Bone Health and Osteoporosis team sees more than 7,500 patient attendances annually. The unit receives referrals from all around Ireland and together with the Department of Clinical Biochemistry in St James’s Hospital, it has access to the most up to date bone biochemistry and bone turnover markers, as well as a modern tandem mass spectrometer for accurate measurement of serum vitamin D levels.
Our team has designated medical, nursing, and administrative staff who work extensively with the wider multidisciplinary team to deliver integrated patient-centred care. Our specialist team members work closely together to ensure that the best possible care is delivered to our patients.
To be referred to the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Unit, your GP will need to complete a letter of referral and send it to the following address:
Osteoporosis and Bone Health Unit
Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing
St James's Hospital
Please bring the following items with you to your appointment:
If you are asthmatic, please bring your inhalers to the clinic.
There are several treatment options for individuals diagnosed with osteopaenia (low bone mass) and osteoporosis.
Firstly, all patients should have a sufficient vitamin D and calcium intake in addition to whatever treatment they are taking. Sufficient calcium dietary intake is possible in people with a high intake of milk and dairy produce, but others may require supplemental calcium.
The aim is to have a total intake of calcium of 1200mg to 1500mg a day. In northern climates and particularly in countries like Ireland, vitamin D deficiency and sub-optimal levels of vitamin D are very common in the general population. For this reason, vitamin D supplements are widely prescribed in bone health clinics. We normally recommend an intake of 800 units of vitamin D per day for all of our patients.