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All about osteoporosis maintaining bone health types of osteoporosis causes of osteoporosis osteoporosis risk factors risk factors for primary osteoporosis risk factors for secondary osteoporosis consequences of osteoporosis symptoms of osteoporosis diagnosis of osteoporosis osteoporosis treatments osteoporosis medications treatment for osteoporosis in men treatment for osteoporosis in women osteoporosis lifestyle therapy osteoporosis exercises osteoporosis diet prevention of osteoporosis osteoporosis and calcium osteoporosis and magnesium osteoporosis and vitamin D

What're the consequences of osteoporosis?

The consequences of osteoporosis include the financial, physical, and psychosocial, which significantly affect the individual as well as the family and community. Each year, there are an estimated 500,000 spinal fractures, 300,000 hip fractures, 200,000 broken wrists and 300,000 fractures of other bones. About 80% of these fractures occur after relatively minor falls or accidents. Often, apparently, not even doctors recognize the link between fractures and osteoporosis. In one Mayo Clinic

study of women with an average age of 45, doctors did not provide advice about osteoporosis to 71% of those who sustained fractures. Between 25% and 60% of women older than 60 develop spinal compression fractures. By age 90, one-third of all women and 17% of men have sustained a hip fracture. Between 35% and 50% of these patients lose their previous walking capacity after a fracture, between 20% and 15% become housebound, and as many as 20% require institutionalization.

An osteoporotic fracture is a tragic outcome of a traumatic event in the presence of compromised bone strength, and its incidence is increased by various other risk factors. Osteoporosis bone fractures are responsible for considerable pain, decreased quality of life, lost workdays, and disability. Some of the many consequences due to osteoporosis are: Increased risk of fracture with minor trauma. Frequency of traumatic events from lifting and bending impact increases with age leads to pain and physical incapacity, and loss of income and independence. Traumatic events can range from high-impact falls to normal lifting and bending. The incidence of fracture is high in individuals with osteoporosis and increases with age. The probability that a 50-year-old will have a hip fracture during his or her lifetime is 14 percent for a white female and 5 to 6 percent for a white male. The risk for African Americans is much lower at 6 percent and 3 percent for 50-year-old women and men, respectively. Osteoporotic fractures, particularly vertebral fractures, can be associated with chronic disabling pain. Nearly one-third of patients with hip fractures are discharged to nursing homes within the year following a fracture. Notably, one in five patients is no longer living 1 year after sustaining an osteoporotic hip fracture. Hip and vertebral fractures are a problem for women in their late 70s and 80s, wrist fractures are a problem in the late 50s to early 70s, and all other fractures (e.g., pelvic and rib) are a problem throughout postmenopausal years. The impact of osteoporosis on other body systems, such as gastrointestinal, respiratory, genitourinary, and craniofacial, is acknowledged, but reliable prevalence rates are unknown.

Hip fracture has a profound impact on quality of life, as evidenced by findings that 80 percent of women older than 75 years preferred death to a bad hip fracture resulting in nursing home placement. However, little data exist on the relationship between fractures and psychological and social well-being. Other quality-of-life issues include adverse effects on physical health (impact of skeletal deformity) and financial resources. An osteoporotic fracture is associated with increased difficulty in activities of daily life, as only one-third of fracture patients regain pre-fracture level of function and one-third require nursing home placement. Fear, anxiety, and depression are frequently reported in women with established osteoporosis and such consequences are likely under-addressed when considering the overall impact of this condition.

Direct financial expenditures for treatment of osteoporotic fracture are estimated at $10 to $15 billion annually. A majority of these estimated costs are due to in-patient care but do not include the costs of treatment for individuals without a history of fractures, nor do they include the indirect costs of lost wages or productivity of either the individual or the caregiver. More needs to be learned about these indirect costs, which are considerable. Consequently, these figures significantly underestimate the true costs of osteoporosis.

Between 14% and 36% of women who experience a hip fracture die within a year afterward and about 25% require nursing home treatment. The mortality rates after major fractures may be even higher in older men than in older women. The lower survival rates after major fractures are generally associated with poor general health. In fact, one 1999 study suggested that tiny spinal fractures in older female patients (even some that may go unnoticed by physicians) may be associated with serious illnesses, including lung disease and cancer. For example, kyphosis, which occurs with severe osteoporosis, puts pressure on the lungs and is probably the major factor in the higher rates of death from lung disease among patients with osteoporosis.

The connection with a higher risk for cancer is unclear. Small fractures may be a sign of cancer rather than a cause, but there is some indication that vertebral fractures and certain cancers may share a common cause in some cases. (Minor fractures in younger women pose no such risk.) Another study also reported an association between osteoporosis and a higher-than-average decline in mental functioning in women.

More information on osteoporosis

What is osteoporosis? - Osteoporosis is a thinning and weakening of the bones, usually associated with the aging process. Osteoporosis is a disease, often with no detectable symptoms.
Building and maintaining skeletal health - Factors involved in building and maintaining skeletal health are adequate nutrition and body weight, exposure to sex hormones at puberty, and physical activity.
What types of osteoporosis are there? - Osteoporosis can be classified in various ways based on diagnostic categories, etiology. Osteoporosis can be classified as either primary osteoporosis or secondary osteoporosis.
What causes osteoporosis? - Osteoporosis is related to the loss of bone mass that occurs as part of the natural process of aging. Osteoporosis results when there is excess bone loss without adequate replacement.
What are the risk factors for osteoporosis? - Many disorders are associated with increased risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is far more prevalent in women after menopause due to the loss of the hormone estrogen.
What're the risk factors for primary osteoporosis? - Risk factors for primary osteoporosis include age, gender, race, figure type, lifestyle, diet, and lack of sunlight.
What're the risk factors for secondary osteoporosis? - Risk factors for secondary osteoporosis include genetic disorders, hypogonadal states, endocrine disorders,hematologic disorders, nutritional deficiencies, drugs.
What are the consequences of osteoporosis? - Consequences due to osteoporosis are increased risk of fracture with minor trauma, frequency of traumatic events from lifting and bending impact.
What are the symptoms of osteoporosis? - Patients with uncomplicated osteoporosis may be asymptomatic or may have pain in the bones or muscles, particularly of the back. Osteoporosis becomes apparent in dramatic fashion.
How is osteoporosis diagnosed? - The diagnosis of osteoporosis is usually made by your doctor using a combination of a complete medical history and physical examination.
What're the treatments for osteoporosis? - Treatment for osteoporosis includes eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, getting regular exercise, and taking medication to reduce bone loss and increase bone thickness.
What osteoporosis medications (drugs) are available? - Medications (drugs) to cure osteoporosis include bisphosphanates (Fosamax), calcitonin (Miacalcin), raloxifene, estrogen, and selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).
How to treat osteoporosis in men? - Alendronate and teriparatide have been approved to treat osteoporosis in men. Calcitonin may work in men, treatment with testosterone appears to increase bone density.
How to treat osteoporosis in women? - The non-hormonal bisphosphonate drugs, alendronate and risedronate prevent and treat postmenopausal osteoporosis. Raloxifene is approved for preventing and treating osteoporosis.
What lifestyle changes can help osteoporosis? - Alcohol consumption should also be kept within safe limits. Supplements of calcium plus vitamin D may help maintain bone density. Limiting sodium and avoiding junk food.
What osteoporosis exercises are suggested? - Exercise is very important for slowing the progression of osteoporosis. Taking regular exercise is the single most important action improve the strength of their bones.
What osteoporosis diet is suggested? - A good calcium intake is essential throughout life for healthy bones. Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium from the intestines. Reducing salt may be useful for osteoporosis patients.
What can be done to prevent osteoporosis? - For prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, patients should be encouraged to stop smoking, limit alcohol consumption and perform weight-bearing exercise.
Osteoporosis and calcium - Calcium could alter the physical-chemical properties of the bone mineral. The daily recommended dietary calcium intake varies by age, sex, and menopausal status.
Osteoporosis and magnesium - Magnesium supplementation is as important as calcium supplementation in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis and vitamin D - Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones to prevent osteoporosis.
Bone, joint, & muscle disorders

Topics in bone, joint, and muscle disorders

Bone diseases
Bone tumors
Bone cancer
Muscle diseases
Spine (neck and back) disorders
Dupuytren's contracture
Plantar fasciitis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
Septic arthritis (infectious Arthritis)
Psoriatic arthritis
Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis)
Ankylosing spondylitis
Gout (gouty arthritis)

All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005