What is Osteoporosis?
May is osteoporosis prevention month. Got milk? If you didn't get enough
as a youngster you may be at increased risk for osteoporosis, a debilitating
disease where bone is lost and fracture risk increases. We all know an Aunt
Tillie who fell and had a hip fracture. What we don't realize is that she probably
had osteoporosis and that after her hip fracture, she ha a one in five chance
of dying within a year and a one in four chance of being unable to ever live
again independently. In fact, osteoporosis causes one fracture every 20 seconds.
Inadequate calcium intake is only part of the osteoporosis story. The greatest
risk for osteoporosis is estrogen loss, particularly for women going through
menopause. In fact, osteoporosis is much more common in women than men. Other
risk factors include lack of exercise, smoking, taking steroids or thyroid medication,
or any cause of estrogen deficiency, especially menopause.
news about osteoporosis is that there are now several good preventive and treatment
measures. Early diagnostic testing is strongly recommended for women at risk.
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Created: 5/15/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.