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Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis Overview

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and loss of bone tissue that may lead to weak and fragile bones. If you have osteoporosis, you have an increased risk for fractured bones (broken bones), particularly in the hip, spine, and wrist.

Osteoporosis is often considered to be a condition that frail elderly women develop. However, the damage from osteoporosis begins much earlier in life. Because peak bone density is reached at approximately 25 years of age, it is important to build strong bones by that age, so that the bones will remain strong later in life. Adequate calcium intake is an essential part of building strong bones.

In the United States, many people already have osteoporosis. A large number of people also have low bone mass that places them at an increased risk for developing osteoporosis. As our population ages, these numbers will increase. A majority of those with osteoporosis are women. Of people older than 50 years of age, one in two women and one in eight men are predicted to have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.

Significant risk has been reported in people of all ethnic backgrounds. White and Asian racial groups, however, are at greatest risk.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/9/2014

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Osteoporosis:

Osteoporosis - Symptoms

The symptoms of osteoporosis can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Osteoporosis - Treatment

Please describe how you're treating your osteoporosis.




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Osteoporosis »

Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder characterized by decreased bone mass and deterioration of bony microarchitecture.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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