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Prevention of Osteoporosis

Prevention of Osteoporosis Introduction

Osteoporosis (porous bone) is a disease in which bones become weak and are more likely to break (fracture). Without prevention or treatment, osteoporosis can progress without pain or symptoms until a fracture occurs. Fractures from osteoporosis commonly occur in the hip, spine, and wrist.

Osteoporosis is the underlying cause of more than 1.5 million fractures annually (300,000 hip fractures, approximately 700,000 vertebral fractures, 250,000 wrist fractures, and more than 300,000 fractures in other areas). The estimated national cost (hospitals and nursing homes) for osteoporosis and related injuries is $14 billion each year in the United States.

Osteoporosis is not just an "old woman's disease." Although it is more common in white or Asian women older than 50 years of age, osteoporosis can occur in almost any person at any age. In fact, more than 2 million American men have osteoporosis, and in women, bone loss can begin as early as 25 years of age. Building strong bones and reaching peak bone density (maximum strength and solidness) can be the best defense against developing osteoporosis. After reaching the peak, which usually occurs by the age of 30, a healthy lifestyle can help keep bones strong.

Osteoporosis is more or less preventable for most people. Prevention is very important because, while treatments are available for osteoporosis, no cure currently exists. Prevention of osteoporosis involves several aspects, including nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and early screening.

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Osteoporosis: Treatment & Medication »

Osteoporosis is typically asymptomatic until a fracture occurs.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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