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  osteoporosis
    Osteoporosis
  Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. These broken bones, also known as fractures, typically occur in the hip, spine, and wrist.
   
 


How Common?

Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans. 10 million are estimated to already have the disease, and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk of fracture.

  • 80% of those affected by osteoporosis are women
  • 50% of women and 25% of men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime
  • Osteoporosis is responsible for 1.5 million fractures annually
  • Estimated US cost in 2001: $17B, or $47 million per day
  • Rate of hip fracture is 2-3 times higher in women than men, but …
  • one year mortality following hip fracture is twice as high for men as for women
  • 6 months after hip fracture, only 15% of patients can walk across a room unaided
Symptoms

Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss occurs without symptoms. People may find out only when a sudden strain or bump causes a fracture or a vertebra to collapse. Usually, collapsed vertebrae cause severe back pain, loss of height, or kyphosis (stooped posture).

Risk Factors

The following risk factors have been identified for osteoporosis:
  • Personal history of bone fracture after age 50
  • Current low bone mass
  • Being female
  • Advanced age
  • Family history of osteoporosis or fracture
  • Low lifetime calcium intake
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Use of steroids or prednisone
  • Current cigarette smoking
  • Excessive use of alcohol
Detection
A bone mass measurement (bone density test) is the only way to tell if you have osteoporosis.  A bone density test can:
  • Detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs
  • Predict your chances of fracturing in the future
  • Determine your rate of bone loss and monitor the effects of treatment if the test is conducted at intervals of a year or more
  • Calculate your T score, which is an indicator of your bone mass, and predicts your risk of bone fracture
Prevention
There are four steps to prevent osteoporosis.  No one step alone is enough to prevent it:
  • A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
  • Weight-bearing exercise
  • A healthy lifestyle, no smoking or excessive alcohol intake
  • Bone density testing and medication when appropriate

Learn More ( English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Lao):
 www.osteo.org/osteolinks.asp#span

Learn More in French:
www.osteoporosis.ca

 
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