TEN FACTS You Should Know About Osteoporosis

Many women think they don’t need to worry about frail bones until they get older;
however, it’s important for women of all ages to understand the importance of keeping their bones strong. Millions of women are at risk for osteoporosis or currently suffer
from symptoms.

Osteoporosis is a disease 4 times more common in women than in men. It can affect
anyone at any age. In the United States, 44 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis at any time. Approximately 34 million more people who were tested to have low bone mass density are found to be at a greater risk of acquiring osteoporosis.

By 2025, experts predict that osteoporosis will be responsible for approximately three million fractures and $25.3 billion in costs each year. Estimates suggest about half of all women older than 50 will experience a fracture as a result of osteoporosis. With a higher percentage of the population aging, this has enormous implications for our healthcare system.

Did you know?

1. Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become thin and porous, reducing bone strength and increasing the risk of breaking a bone.

2. The wrist, spine and hip are the most common sites of fracture.

3. No single cause for osteoporosis has been identified.

4. Osteoporosis can occur at any age. Osteoporosis is often called the “silent thief” because bone loss occurs without symptoms.

5. Osteoporosis can contribute to disfigurement, lowered self-esteem, reduction or loss of mobility, and decreased independence.

6. Loss of 1 1/2” (4 cm/6 cm if over 60) or more in height may be an indicator of
spinal fracture.

7. Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence is important and can help prevent developing osteoporosis later.

8. Peak bone mass is achieved at an early age, age 16 in girls and age 20 in young men.

9. Both women and men begin to lose bone in their mid-30s; as women approach
menopause, bone loss occurs at a greater rate, 2-5 per cent per year.

10. Risk factors you should be aware of and report to your doctor include age, vertebral compression fracture, fragility fracture after age 40, family history, >3 months use of glucocorticoid drugs and medical conditions that affect the absorption of nutrients.

Reference: http://www.nof.org/

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