Osteoporosis & Osteopenia are serious and growing life threatening health risks!
Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds!
21% of people over 65 who have a hip fracture, and have it surgically repaired, die within one year! The number goes up to 70% if a person does not have surgery to repair the hip. And the mortality (death) rate is higher for men than women.
A woman’s risk of breaking a hip due to osteoporosis is equal to her risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined. And a man age 50 or older is more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than he is to get prostate cancer.
What is Osteopenia and Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis and osteopenia are health conditions marked by decreased bone mass and
microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue resulting in less bone tension and strength
and increased risk of fragility fracture. They are on a continuum.
Bone geometry, microarchitecture, and size are the factors influencing the ability of bone
to withstand trauma. 75%–90% of variance in bone strength is related to bone mineral
density (BMD). Bone strength is determined by the integration of bone density and bone quality.
What kind of fractures does osteoporosis and osteopenia contribute to?
Because Osteoporosis and Osteopenia are systemic, all bones are affected. But the major fractures of concern are vertebral fractures (spine), wrist fractures, and hip fractures because they can cause more long-term health consequences.
Hip fracture is one of the seriously occurring osteoporotic fractures resulting in disability, diminished quality of life, and a higher rate of mortality. 21% of people over 65 who have a hip fracture, and have it surgically repaired, die within one year! The number goes up to 70% if a person does not have surgery to repair the hip. And the mortality (death) rate is higher for men than women.
So, it is important to PREVENT fractures as much as possible.
Who should be concerned and who should get screened?
Everyone should be aware of their risk factors for osteoporosis and osteopenia since it is such a common disease and can cause such significant debility, decrease quality of life, and even contribute to a shortened life span.
I believe everyone should be screened for osteoporosis/osteopenia at around age 40 or earlier if there are high-risk concerns.
Risk Factors and Symptoms
Major modifiable risk factors:
- Nutritional deficiencies, either from deficient diet, malabsorption or lack of physical activity
- Increased fall risk because of medications or other health conditions or environment
- Weight loss or lifetime of being thin or under 130 pounds
- Cigarette smoking
- Alcohol consumption
- Air pollution
- Stress and sleep deficiency
Major non-modifiable risk factors:
- History of falls
- Older age
- Gender- both men and women are at risk
- White ethnic background- although other ethnicities can also be effected
- Prior fracture
- Family history of osteoporosis/osteopenia
- Chronic use of certain medications (prolonged corticosteroid use, and so on)
- Chronic liver disease
- Inflammatory diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, and others)
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Renal disease (history of kidney stones)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- History of Malaria
- Malabsorption of nutrients secondary to Gastrointestinal disease or gastric bypass surgeries.