Osteoporosis, characterized by low bone mineral density, is common and associated with an increase due to the risk of fracture. The lifetime risk of an osteoporotic fracture is approximately 50% for women and 30% for men. Osteoporotic fractures can cause significant pain and disability. As such research has focused on means of preventing osteoporosis and related fractures. Primary preventing strategies include calcium supplementation, vitamin D supplementation, and exercise programs. The effectiveness of calcium and vitamin D for fracture prevention remain controversial, particularly is non- institutionalized individuals.
What is OsteoporosisOsteoporosis is a condition characterized by a decrease in the density of bone, decreasing its strength and resulting in fragile bones. Osteoporosis literally leads to abnormally porous bone that is compressible, like a sponge. This disorder of the skeleton weakens the bone and results in frequent fractures (breaks) in the bones. Osteopenia, by definition, is a condition of bone that is slightly less dense than normal bone but not to the degree of bone in osteoporosis.Osteoporosis affects over three million people in the UK. More than 500,000 people receive hospital treatment for fragility fractures (fractures that occur from standing height or less) every year as a result of osteoporosis.
Causes of Osteoporosis
Losing bone is a normal part of the ageing process, but some people lose bone density much faster than normal. This can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures. Women also lose bone rapidly in the first few years after the menopause (when monthly periods stop and the ovaries stop producing an egg). Women are more at risk of osteoporosis than men, particularly if the menopause begins early.