“Osteoporosis literally means ‘porous bone’. It is a condition where bones become thin and lose their strength, as they become less dense and their quality is reduced”.1

Umbrella
What may the Osteoporosis Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Low Bone Density/Mass
  • Osteoporosis
  • Porous Bones

Terminology

Is osteoporosis the same as osteoarthritis?

Although the terms osteoporosis and osteoarthritis may appear similar, they are different.

In Osteoporosis and Arthritis: Two Common But Different Conditions – Arthritis the (United States National Institutes of Health) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases’ NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center explain:

“Although osteoporosis and osteoarthritis are two very different medical conditions with little in common, the similarity of their names causes great confusion. These conditions develop differently, have different symptoms, are diagnosed differently, and are treated differently”.2

Osteoarthritis

What is osteoarthritis?

DotS the definition of osteoarthritis may vary. The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center’s definition is:

  • “Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful, degenerative joint disease that often involves the hips, knees, neck, lower back, or small joints of the hands. OA usually develops in joints that are injured by repeated overuse from performing a particular task or playing a favorite sport or from carrying around excess body weight. Eventually this injury or repeated impact thins or wears away the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in the joint. As a result, the bones rub together, causing a grating sensation. Joint flexibility is reduced, bony spurs develop, and the joint swells. Usually, the first symptom of OA is pain that worsens following exercise or immobility”.3

Osteopenia

What is osteopenia?

DotS the definition of osteopenia may vary. The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center’s definition is:

“Osteopenia. Low bone mass”.4

Osteoporosis

What is osteoporosis?

DotS the definition of osteoporosis may vary. The International Osteoporosis Foundation’s (IOF) definition is:

“Osteoporosis literally means ‘porous bone’. It is a condition where bones become thin and lose their strength, as they become less dense and their quality is reduced. This can lead to broken bones, which cause pain, disability, and make everyday activities extremely difficult”.5

Women

Why are women more likely to get osteoporosis than men?

In What Women Need To Know the (United States) National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) note:

“There are multiple reasons why women are more likely to get osteoporosis than men, including:

  • Women tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men
  • Estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. This is why the chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause”.6

In Risk Factors: More Information on Risk Factors Osteoporosis Australia explain:

“Women are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis because of the rapid decline in oestrogen levels during menopause. When oestrogen levels decrease, bones lose calcium and other minerals at a much faster rate. As a result a bone loss of approximately 2% per year occurs for several years after menopause”.7

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and bone loss?

In What Women Need To Know: Menopause: A Time for Action the NOF elaborate on:

National Osteoporosis Month May 2020

“When a woman reaches menopause, her estrogen levels drop and can lead to bone loss. For some women, this bone loss is rapid and severe.

Two major factors that affect your chance of getting osteoporosis are:

  • The amount of bone you have when you reach menopause. The greater your bone density is to begin with, the lower your chance of developing osteoporosis. If you had low peak bone mass or other risk factors that caused you to lose bone, your chance of getting osteoporosis is greater.
  • How fast you lose bone after you reach menopause. For some women, bone loss happens faster than for others. In fact, a woman can lose up to 20% of her bone density during the five – seven years following menopause. If you lose bone quickly, you have a greater chance of developing osteoporosis”.8

The Australasian Menopause Society note:

“The female sex hormone oestrogen plays an important role in maintaining bone strength. After menopause oestrogen levels drop and this may result in increased bone loss. The average woman loses up to 10 per cent of her bone mass in the first five years after menopause”.9

The (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) also note:

  • “When women go through menopause, there is a rapid loss of bone because of decreased oestrogen and this process may last from 4-8 years after menopause”.10

The JH also add:

  • “After this period of time the rate of bone loss is reduced and stabilises”.11

Common or Not

How common is osteoporosis?

The Facts and Statistics: Epidemiology of Osteoporosis and Fragility Fractures the IOF quote this statistic from a Source dated 2007:

  • “Osteoporosis is estimated to affect 200 million women worldwide – approximately one-tenth of women aged 60, one-fifth of women aged 70, two-fifths of women aged 80 and two-thirds of women aged 90”.12

The Facts and Statistics: Epidemiology of Osteoporosis and Fragility Fractures the IOF quote this statistic from a Source dated 2006:

  • “Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporosis fracture every 3 seconds”.13

In the United States, according to the NOF:

“About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis”.14

In the United Kingdom (UK), according to the (UK) NHS (National Health Service):

“Osteoporosis affects over 3 million people in the UK”.15

Women

How many women have osteoporosis?

In the United States, the NOF explain:

Osteoporosis

  • “Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women”.16

Silent Disease

Why is osteoporosis called the ‘silent disease’?

In About Osteoporosis the IOF explain:

“Osteoporosis is often called the ‘silent disease’ because most people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they suffer a broken bone from a minor fall or bump – something that would not normally have caused such a drastic injury. In fact, even after breaking a bone, around 80% of patients are still not diagnosed and treated for osteoporosis, the underlying disease which has caused the fracture”.17

In What Is Osteoporosis and What Causes It? Osteoporosis Can Sneak Up on You the NOF also note:

“Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease because one can’t feel bones weakening. Breaking a bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis or a patient may notice that he or she is getting shorter or their upper back is curving forward. If you are experiencing height loss or your spine is curving, be sure to consult your doctor or healthcare professional immediately”.18

Diagnosis

How is osteoporosis diagnosed?

The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center explain:

“Osteoporosis is diagnosed by a bone mineral density test, which is a safe and painless way to detect low bone density”.19

Prevention

How may osteoporosis be prevented?

The NOF note:

“People used to think that osteoporosis was an inevitable part of aging. Today we know a lot more about how to prevent, detect, and treat the disease. You are never too young or old to take care of your bones. Good lifestyle habits can help you protect your bones and decrease your chance of getting osteoporosis. And, if your healthcare provider hasn’t talked to you about your bone health, it’s time for you to bring it up!”20

Risk Factors

How may we become aware of any potential risk factors?

Osteoporosis.Risk.CheckIn About Osteoporosis: Have Risk Factors? Talk To Your Doctor, Ask for Testing the IOF note:

“To become aware of any potential risk factors, take the IOF One-Minute Osteoporosis Risk Test.

If you are over the age of 50 and you have one or more risk factors you should discuss these with your doctor and ask for an assessment of your bone health status. Lifestyle changes may be recommended and, for those at high risk, medication may be prescribed for optimal protection against fractures”.21

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have osteoporosis?

If you think you have osteoporosis, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Exercise for Your Bone Health: A Complete Osteoporosis Program the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center explain:

“Remember, exercise is only one part of an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program. Like a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise helps strengthen bones at any age. But proper exercise and diet may not be enough to stop bone loss caused by medical conditions, menopause, or lifestyle choices such as tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. It is important to speak with your doctor about your bone health. Discuss whether you might be a candidate for a bone mineral density test. If you are diagnosed with low bone mass, ask what medications might help keep your bones strong”.22

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Osteoporosis?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Osteoporosis?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. May Is National Osteoporosis Month. National Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.nof.org/national-osteoporosis-month-may-2020/ Accessed: 19 October 2020
  2. Osteoporosis and Arthritis: Two Common But Different Conditions – Arthritis. Last Reviewed: December 2018. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/conditions-behaviors/osteoporosis-arthritis#a Accessed: 19 October 2020
  3. Osteoporosis and Arthritis: Two Common But Different Conditions – Arthritis: Osteoarthritis. Last Reviewed: December 2018. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/conditions-behaviors/osteoporosis-arthritis#a Accessed: 19 October 2020
  4. Osteopenia. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center https://www.bones.nih.gov/about/glossary/osteopenia Accessed: 19 October 2020
  5. About Osteoporosis. International Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/patients/about-osteoporosis Accessed: 19 October 2020
  6. What Women Need To Know. National Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.nof.org/prevention/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/ Accessed: 19 October 2020
  7. Risk Factors: More Information on Risk Factors. Last Updated: 23 February 2017. Osteoporosis Australia https://www.osteoporosis.org.au/risk-factors Accessed: 19 October 2020
  8. What Women Need To Know: Menopause: A Time for Action. National Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.nof.org/prevention/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/ Accessed: 19 October 2020
  9. Osteoporosis. Content Updated September 2018. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/622-osteoporosis Accessed: 19 October 2020
  10. Calcium: Recommended Daily Calcium Intake. Last Updated: 29 September 2020 | Last Reviewed: 15 December 2013. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/bone-health/calcium/ Accessed: 19 October 2020
  11. Calcium: Recommended Daily Calcium Intake. Last Updated: 29 September 2020  | Last Reviewed: 15 December 2013. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/bone-health/calcium/ Accessed: 19 October 2020
  12. Facts and Statistics: Epidemiology of Osteoporosis and Fragility Fractures. International Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/facts-statistics/epidemiology-of-osteoporosis-and-fragility-fractures Accessed: 19 October 2020
  13. Facts and Statistics: Epidemiology of Osteoporosis and Fragility Fractures. International Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/facts-statistics/epidemiology-of-osteoporosis-and-fragility-fractures Accessed: 19 October 2020
  14. What Is Osteoporosis and What Causes It? Osteoporosis Is Common. National Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/ Accessed: 19 October 2020
  15. Osteoporosis: Who’s Affected By Osteoporosis? Page Last Reviewed: 18 June 2019. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteoporosis/#whos-affected Accessed: 19 October 2020
  16. What Women Need To Know. National Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.nof.org/prevention/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/ Accessed: 19 October 2020
  17. About Osteoporosis. International Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.osteoporosis.foundation/patients/about-osteoporosis Accessed: 19 October 2020
  18. What Is Osteoporosis and What Causes It? Osteoporosis Can Sneak Up on You. National Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/ Accessed: 19 October 2020
  19. Osteoporosis and Arthritis: Two Common But Different Conditions – Osteoporosis. Last Reviewed: December 2018. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/Conditions_Behaviors/osteoporosis_arthritis.asp Accessed: 19 October 2020
  20. What Women Need To Know: Now the Good News. National Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.nof.org/prevention/general-facts/what-women-need-to-know/ Accessed: 19 October 2020
  21. About Osteoporosis: Have Risk Factors? Talk To Your Doctor, Ask for Testing International Osteoporosis Foundation http://worldosteoporosisday.org/about-osteoporosis Accessed: 19 October 2020
  22. Exercise for Your Bone Health: A Complete Osteoporosis Program. Last Reviewed: October 2018. NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center https://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Bone_Health/Exercise/default.asp Accessed: 19 October 2020

Topic Last Updated: 19 October 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 19 October 2020
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