7 Ways To Prevent Osteoporosis As We Age

2012-08-04 | |
Last updated: 2012-08-04

If all the health information that we learned came from commercials, we would quickly come to the conclusion that getting sufficient calcium and vitamin D is all that we need to prevent brittle bones as we age. While both calcium and vitamin D are often helpful, preventing the brittle bone disease Osteoporosis is not simply about topping up our vitamins and minerals by using supplements. Scientists have long known that Osteoporosis also has genetic links.

Just this year, researchers from the University of Queensland identified a very large number of genes that affect the density of bone. Their study of more than 80,000 individuals from around the world showed that there are more than 50 different genetic factors that can lead to reduced bone density and a higher risk for bone fractures. While this is very good news in terms of starting to understand the disease, analyzing all the genetic information will take time.

This makes it all the more important to try to prevent the disease using current medical knowledge, especially for those of us who know we have relatives with the condition.

How Often Are People Affected By Osteoporosis?

Although most people are aware that Osteoporosis affects many older adults, it is important to understand just how common the condition is. In the US and in Europe, roughly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will be diagnosed with a fracture from Osteoporosis. This does not even take into account those with the disease who may suffer pain but are never diagnosed. Considering that only 10% of people with fractures in the bones of their back are actually hospitalized, many people with Osteoporosis may actually be receiving incorrect diagnoses.

With the risks being this high, Osteoporosis is actually as common or more common than the risk of developing much higher profile diseases like prostate or breast cancer. While we may be tempted to think that a broken bone is not that significant, 1 in 4 people who break a hip will die within one year following such a fracture. In the face of such high risks, prevention efforts are very important.

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Category: Disease Information, Disease Prevention, General Health, Health Risks

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