Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds!
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.
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. Hip fractures are associated with an 8%–36% excess mortality (death rate) within 1 year, with higher mortality in men than in women.
So, it is important to PREVENT fractures as much as possible.
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.
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.