|Osteoporosis is a condition of porous, weakened bone, which can lead to life changing fractures, including those of the hip, spine and wrist.
Osteoporosis and low bone mass affect 1.5 million Michigan residents.
Most Americans are not aware of their risk for osteoporosis or steps they can take to prevent, diagnose or treat the disease.
Know the Facts:
- Osteoporosis is major health threat for 44 million Americans: 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 34 million are at risk.
- Osteoporosis is responsible for 1.5 million fractures each year at a cost of $18 billion. In Michigan, the cost was projected to be $439 million in 2005; this cost is expected to rise to $560 million by 2025.
- One in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.
- 50 percent of those hospitalized with hip fractures in Michigan are discharged to long-term care facilities.
Know the Risk Factors:
- Age-- The older you are, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
- Gender-- Chances of developing osteoporosis are greater if you are a women, but men get osteoporosis too.
- Race-- Risk is higher for developing osteoporosis among Caucasian and Asian women. However, osteoporosis affects all races and ethnic groups.
- Family History and Personal History of Fractures as an Adult-- Susceptibility to fractures may be, in part, hereditary. Young women whose mothers have a history of vertebral fracture or reduced bone mass are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. A personal history of a fracture as an adult may indicate low bone mass.
- Bone Structure and Body Weight-- If you are small-boned and thin (under 127 pounds), you are at greater risk.
- Lifestyle-- If you smoke, drink too much alcohol, consume an inadequate amount of calcium or get little or no physical activity, your chances of developing osteoporosis increase.
- Prolonged Use of Certain Medications-- A significant and often overlooked risk factor in development of osteoporosis is the use of certain medications to treat chronic medical conditions. Medications used to treat disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, endocrine disorders including hyperthyroidism, seizure disorders, gastrointestinal diseases and other conditions may have side effects that can damage bone and lead to osteoporosis.
Steps you can take to prevent osteoporosis:
- Eat a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
- Engage in regular physical activity, such as walking, hiking, jogging, and dancing
- Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake
- Talk to your health care provider about bone health
- Have a bone density test and take medication to treat or prevent bone loss when appropriate
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