Osteoporosis Fast Facts
- About 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and another 34 million are at risk.
- By age 50, the lifetime risk of fracture is 50% in women and 25% in men.
- Women can lose 10% of their bone density in the five to seven years after menopause.
- The likelihood of falling increases as you age, with 33% of those 65 and older suffering a fall each year.
- Women who have one hip fracture are four times as likely to have another.
- Falling isn’t the only reason a person fractures a bone. Doing things as simple as sneezing or bumping into furniture can also result in a broken bone.
Age: The disease is more common in seniors.
Gender: Osteoporosis affects more women than men.
Family history: If one of your parents had osteoporosis, you are more likely to get it.
Being petite: Small, thin women are at a higher risk.
Menopause: The female hormone estrogen helps maintain bone. When estrogen levels drop at menopause, bones may be at risk.
Prescription drugs: Certain medications like steroids can cause bone loss. So can some treatments for cancer, heartburn, depression and diabetes.
- Back trouble: Back pain or a stooped posture can be connected to bone loss.
- Loss of height: You may notice you are gradually getting shorter. This is because osteoporosis may have weakened the bones in your spine, causing them to fracture and compress.
- A fracture, or broken bone: Having undiagnosed osteoporosis may have contributed to a fracture you got from a fall or accident.
If you have any of the risk factors or signs of osteoporosis, talk to your doctor. You may want to ask for a bone mineral density scan (also called a DXA).