Osteoporosis

Summary

Osteoporosis is a disease that thins and weakens the bones. Your bones become fragile and fracture (break) easily, especially the bones in the hip, spine, and wrist. In the United States, millions of people either already have osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.

Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is more common in older women. Risk factors include

  • Getting older
  • Being small and thin
  • Having a family history of osteoporosis
  • Taking certain medicines
  • Being a white or Asian woman
  • Having low bone density

Osteoporosis is a silent disease. You might not know you have it until you break a bone. A bone mineral density test is the best way to check your bone health.

To keep bones strong, eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise, and do not smoke. If needed, medicines can also help. It is also important to try to avoid falling down. Falls are the number one cause of fractures in older adults.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

References

Health content updated: November 5, 2019

* This product uses publicly available data from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services; NLM is not responsible for the product and does not endorse or recommend this or any other product.

Ad label

advertisement

Ad label

advertisement