Osteoporosis

Abstract

Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in bone fragility and greater susceptibility to atraumatic fracture. Today, osteoporosis is the most prevalent metabolic bone disorder among developed countries. Osteoporosis ranks among the most significant health problems in the elderly, affecting more than 25 million Americans and contributing to more than 1.5 million fractures each year. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (2002) has estimated that roughly 10 million Americans over the age of 50 already have the disease. An additional 34 million are estimated to have osteopenia (low bone mass) of the hip, putting them at risk for osteoporosis, fractures, and associated complications later in life. This article reviews the clinical presentation and management options available in osteoporosis.

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