URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/osteoporosis.html

Osteoporosis

Summary

Osteoporosis makes your bones weak and more likely to break. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but it is common in older women. As many as half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

Risk factors include

  • Getting older
  • Being small and thin
  • Having a family history of osteoporosis
  • Taking certain medicines
  • Being a white or Asian woman
  • Having osteopenia, which is low bone density

Osteoporosis is a silent disease. You might not know you have it until you break a bone. A bone mineral density test is the best way to check your bone health. To keep bones strong, eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, exercise and do not smoke. If needed, medicines can also help.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

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Reference Desk

  • Glossary From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)
  • What Is Bone? Easy-to-Read From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

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