💡What is Osteoporosis?

What is Osteoporosis and Osteopenia? What’s the difference?

  • “Osteoporosis is the gradual and silent loss of bone and not a normal aging process. It is defined as a systemic skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture (NOF 2005). Osteopenia is mildly reduced bone mass--a loss of approximately 10%-20%-- indicates the onset of osteoporosis.”[1]
  • The World Health Organization defines osteoporosis as a skeletal disease of low bone mass as well as architectural deterioration which makes the bones susceptible to fracture.[2]

Osteoporosis Statistics

Today, 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, and an additional 34 million have osteopenia, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis (NOF 2005). Each year more than 1.5 million Americans suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture (NOF 2005). One in 2 American women and 1 in 4 American men over age 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture in her or his lifetime (NOF 2005). Among hip fracture patients, 1 in every 5 ends up permanently in a nursing home (Salkeld et al. 2000) People on bed rest lose about 1% of their bone mineral density per week (Smith & Gilligan 1987).[3]