Riddlesden woman is to go back to school for osteoporosis campaign

Keighley News: Christine Sharp Christine Sharp

A Keighley woman is to go back to school as part of an ongoing campaign to avert what she describes as a potential “time bomb”.

Christine Sharp, from Riddlesden, is a volunteer for the National Osteoporosis Society. She has herself faced a long, painful battle against the fragile bone condition, and has sustained multiple fractures in her spine.

The condition forced her to give up her job in 2009. She used to run a salon in Haworth Road, Bradford.

Mrs Sharp has suffered a further two fractures this year, despite having been on strong medication for the past three years.

She said she had been invited by Bradford District Care Trust to address 16 to 18-year-olds about how they can avoid suffering from the condition.

She was due to speak to students at Carlton Bolling College in Bradford yesterday and could be giving presentations at schools in Keighley in future.

“Recent research involving a study of college-aged women found two per cent had osteoporosis and 15 per cent had low bone density,” she said.

“These are shocking statistics. We’re now finding younger people are showing signs of the condition, so it’s important they’re given important information about healthy lifestyles and diets.

“People build up their bone health from birth till the age of about 30. Some of these young girls wanting to be stick thin and who are going on strict diets need to know they must not cut out calcium and must get enough vitamin D from sunlight.”

She added that young people also require plenty of physical exercise.

“I never thought about my bones when I was younger, but this is a serious issue that will hit us like a time bomb if we don’t tackle it,” Mrs Sharp said. “One in two women over 50 will have this condition and one in five men.”

To coincide with World Osteoporosis Day, Mrs Sharp ran an information stand at Holycroft Surgery in Oakworth Road for five days.

She said it attracted plenty of interest, and was visited by Keighley MP Kris Hopkins, who backed the initiative last year.

“If we’ve stopped one person going down the path of suffering multiple fractures, then it’s been worth it,” Mrs Sharp said.

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