Facts about Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis is known as the silent disease—it gives no warning until the first stress fracture, the first fall and fracture. It can be manifested by the dowager hump deformity resulting from the progressive, silent compression of the upper dorsal vertebrae. While this is a common deformity of early osteoporosis, the most devastating fractures occur in the hip and spine. For the 80% that survive hip fractures, 1/3 of those may lose all independence and ability to walk unassisted.

It is a known fact that the risk of osteoporosis is greater in post menopausal women. From age 50-86, there is a six-fold increase in the annual risk of hip fracture 64 times greater in an 86 year old woman than in a 50 year old woman. A woman age 50 has a minimu 9% risk of fracture in her remaining years whereas a 70 year old woman has a probability of 11%.

Because osteoporosis is accelerated with the depletion of the estrogen hormone during and after menopause, one may think osteoporosis is a woman’s disease. Untrue. Men and women alike are vulnerable to many other factors that can accelerate or lead to osteoporosis. It is this general lack of awareness in men that they will not get osteoporosis that needs to be addressed.