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Osteoporosis

Consequences Of Osteoporosis, Risks, Diagnosis, TreatmentConclusion

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects over ten million Americans and 1.4 million Canadians. Persons with this disease have low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue. This causes the bone to become more fragile and An elderly woman with a Dowager's hump caused by osteoporosis. (Corbis photo by Lester V. Bergman.) more likely to fracture. Osteoporosis is often referred to as a "silent disease" because most people are unaware that they have the disease until they actually sustain a fracture. Although awareness of the disease is growing, many persons remain undiagnosed and undertreated.

In summary, osteoporosis is a common and underdiagnosed disease. The consequences of osteoporotic fractures are serious and include pain, functional decline, institutionalization, and death. However, today much can be done both to prevent osteoporosis and to treat established disease. Effective treatment to prevent fractures includes both medications to increase bone density and measures to prevent falls.

JANET GORDON

BIBLIOGRAPHY

LAURITZEN, J. B.; PETERSEN M. M.; and LUND B. "Effect of External Hip Protectors on Hip Fractures." Lancet 341(2 January 1993): 11–13.

"Osteoporosis: Review of the Evidence for Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment and Cost Effectiveness Analysis." Osteoporosis International 8, Suppl 4. (1998): S1–S88.

"Prevention and Management of Osteoporosis: Consensus Statements from the Scientific Advisory Board of the Osteoporosis Society of Canada." Canadian Medical Association Journal 155, no. 7 (1996): 921–965.

REID, I. R. "Pharmacological Management of Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women." Drugs & Aging 15, no. 5 (1999): 349–363.

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