Hundreds of elderly women in Norwich have been urged to take part in a medical trial to improve the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
The bone thinning condition affects a huge number of older women and can be life threatening, say researchers at the University of East Anglia, increasing the need for more volunteers to come forward.
At least 200,000 bones are fractured each year and the Arthritis Research Campaign, who helped fund the trial, believes that a medical breakthrough would help the thousands of sufferers who as a result are unable to look after themselves.
"Fractures in people suffering from osteoporosis are costly to the NHS and, most importantly, they have a huge and detrimental impact on people's lives, " Dr Lee Shepstone, reader in Medical Statistics at the university's School of Medicine, told the Norwich Evening News.
"This trial could help shape the way we deal with osteoporosis in the future and could improve the quality of life for many older people."
The duchess of Cornwall has also voiced her support for further research and funding into the condition and is president of the National Osteoporosis Society.