Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually and one in three women over 50 years of age will experience osteoporotic fractures. The statistic for men is one in five men will sustain an osteoporotic fracture.
An International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) survey conducted in 11 countries showed denial of personal risk by postmenopausal women, lack of dialogue about osteoporosis with their doctor, and generally underdiagnosis and undertreatment of the disease.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?
- Parental history of fracture, particularly hip fracture
- Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle
- Smoking (can lead to low bone density and hence higher risk of fracture)
- High intake of alcohol
- Prolonged use of corticosteroids is the most common cause of secondary osteoporosis. 30-50% of patients on long term corticosteroid medication will experience fracture.
- Low body weight associated with malnutrition and eating disorders
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
- A variety of pharmaceuticals are available to help prevent fracture
- Sunlight exposure increases bone density in Vitamin D deficient bone
- Calcium and Vitamin D supplementation
- A balanced diet that includes a variety of foods assures optimal consumption of major and micronutrients
- Adequate calcium intake through diet and supplementation
- Weight-bearing exercise such as walking and sport activity done on a regular basis
- Strengthening back muscles and exercises that improve balance such as T’ai Chi can help prevent falls and thereby reduce fracture risk.
Content from the International Osteoporosis Foundation Website was used in this blog article.