Osteoporosis Insight from the Latest Investigations By Julie Jacobs
osteoporosis [os-tee-oh-puh-roh-sis] a disorder in which the bones become increasingly porous, brittle, and subject to fracture, owing to loss of calcium and other mineral components, sometimes resulting in pain, decreased height, and skeletal deformities: common in older persons, primarily postmenopausal women, but also associated with long-term steroid therapy and certain endocrine disorders. 52
he statistics are staggering for osteoporosis, a chronic condition characterized by low bone density and deficits in calcium and other minerals that render bones brittle and highly breakable. Just this past June, the National Osteoporosis Foundation released updated data on the numbers of Americans both at risk for and affected by the disease: 10.2 million adults age 50 and older have osteoporosis, while another 43 million have a good chance of developing it.
With osteoporosis the culprit behind some two million broken bones annually—breaks that frequently lead to ongoing pain, immobility and a variety of related health problems, not to mention exponential treatment costs—the need for better prevention has never been greater. For everybody, particularly the one in two women and the one in four men who will suffer a fracture from osteoporosis, research as of late offers sage advice for averting and living with the illness today, while holding promise for a “bone healthy” tomorrow.