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January 20, 2010

Osteoporosis is defined as a loss of bone density and changes to bone architecture resulting from age-related hormone deficiency.  During adulthood bone is continually remodeled through the resorption of old bone by osteoclasts and the subsequent formation of new bone by osteoblasts.  Osteoporosis results from an imbalance between bone resorption and bone formation, leading to bone loss, which, over the years, leads to a loss of the structural integrity of bone and an increased risk of fracture.  

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF):

  • 55% of people 50 years and older are at risk of developing osteoporosis, with post-menopausal women at the greatest risk
  • 10 million Americans (8 million women and 2 million men) are already diagnosed with the disease
  • Osteoporosis leads to more than 1.5 million fractures annually
  • One in two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their remaining lifetime
  • Any bone can be affected, but more severe fractures (hip and spine) can have devastating effects on both overall health and quality of life (physical impairment, chronic pain and loss of independence)
  • Severe fractures can lead to death, with 20% of all individuals who suffer a hip fracture dying within a year of their injury (CDC)
  • Estimated health care costs (including hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient services) for osteoporotic fractures were reported to be $18 billion in 2002 in the US and costs continue to rise as the baby-boomer population ages

osteoporosis risk conceptual meter indicate maximum, isolated on white background

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