Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone density and quality are reduced, resulting in bone fragility. Osteoporosis is a silent disease, because there are no symptoms until a bone breaks.
People with osteoporosis may notice a loss in height or break bones due to a simple fall, by bumping into furniture or even coughing.
Knowing your bone density is the first step to avoiding broken bones and fragility fractures that can result from osteoporosis or low bone density.
Peak Bone Mass
Throughout your life, you constantly lose old bone and make new bone. Children and teenagers make new bone faster than they lose old bone. Their bones increase in density until they reach what experts call peak bone mass.
Peak bone mass is the point when you have the greatest amount of bone you will ever have. It usually happens between the ages of 18 and 25.
Having higher peak bone mass means that you are less likely to break a bone or to get osteoporosis later in life. Lower peak bone mass increases your chance of getting osteoporosis.
- 54 million Americans have low bone density or osteoporosis.
- One in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
- The disease causes an estimated 2 million broken bones every year.
- While common among older, Caucasian women, osteoporosis also affects minority women and men of all ethnicities.
- Approximately 2 million American men already have osteoporosis. About 12 million more are at risk.
- Men older than 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.
Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are steps you can take to prevent, slow or stop its progress. In some cases, you may even be able to improve bone density and reverse the disorder to some degree.
*From the National Osteoporosis Foundation