Even though osteoporosis causes one fracture every 20 seconds,
few people recognize how fractures can affect them.† Many still don't realize
that breaking a bone as an adult could be a sign of osteoporosis.
A recent study of over 1,100 women over 55 who had broken their wrist found
that less than 25% of them had a bone mineral density test or a medication for
osteoporosis treatment. Why is this important?† Because osteoporosis
accounts for nearly a quarter of a million wrist fractures in the United States
Osteoporosis is also responsible for 700,000 vertebral fractures each year.
Another study (Journal of the American Medical Association, Jan.
17, 2001) found that one in 5 women with a vertebral fracture will have another
fracture within a year. Multiple vertebral fractures result in the hunchbacked
appearance called "kyphosis." Many people still think that this curvature is
a "normal" part of aging!† Some people think this is just a cosmetic problem
and yet severe kyphosis can compress the lungs, chest and abdomen, making eating,
breathing and moving more difficult.† And to many, the deformity is also depressing.
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Created: 5/14/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.