Network Inside Bones Can Deteroriate in Year After Menopause:
The network, called the trabecular architecture, was found to deteriorate
even though study participants showed only a modest loss of bone
Says Most Are Unware They Have Osteoporosis Until a Fracture:
Researchers call for education, calling osteoporosis
a hidden disease in that the diagnosis is rarely recorded as the
main reason for a hospitalization.
Patients Advised to Combine Calcium with Phosphorus:
Researchers say if women are taking calcium supplements
without the necessary phosphorus, these supplements would not only
fail to stem bone loss, but could even lead to an overall phosphorus
Approves Once-a-Week Actonel for Postmenopausal Osteoporosis: Actonel,
like Fosamax, is a nonhormonal bisphosphonate drug that stop cells
from breaking down bone.
Decreases Calcium Absorption in Women Over 65: Drug
used to treat acid reflux may put women at higher risk of developing
Tea Drinkers Develop Stronger Bones: Researchers
say an average of two cups of black, green or oolong tea daily over
at least a six-year period reduced the risk of osteoporosis.
Anabolic Drug Expected to Provide Option for Osteoporosis Patients:
Researchers say it may increase bone density 15 percent,
rather than six percent with the current therapies.
Version of Fosamax Tentatively Approved by FDA: But
it will still be some time before the drug, used for the treatment
and prevention of osteoporosis, is on the market.
I Trial Begins on Oral Form of Calcitonin: Researchers
express optimism about an oral form of drug, which is currently
only available to osteoporosis patients by injection or nasal spray.
Procedure Can Help Patients Suffering From Spinal Fractures: Researchers
say patients with osteoporosis who are suffering from spinal fractures
can find relief from their pain with a non-surgical procedure called
Said Behind the Times in Treatment of Osteoporosis: Survey
finds that more than one-third of Australian women over age 45 are
not concerned about osteoporosis as a health risk.
Diet, Calcium and Vitamin D Help Prevent Osteoporosis: Researchers
found the diet helps healthy older people increase their total body
bone mineral density (BMD), a key to preventing osteoporosis.
Hormone Approved for Women With Osteoporosis: A
federal advisory committee has unanimously endorsed a natural bone-building
hormone as a treatment for postmenopausal women with osteoporosis,
the bone disease that afflicts millions of older Americans.
or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and
structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility
and an increased susceptibility to fractures of the hip, spine,
In the U.S.
today, 10 million individuals already have osteoporosis and 18 million
more have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for this
disease. One out of every two women and one in eight men over 50
will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.
is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually, including
300,000 hip fractures, and approximately 700,000 vertebral fractures,
250,000 wrist fractures, and more than 300,000 fractures at other
is often called the "silent disease" because bone loss occurs without
symptoms. People may not know that they have osteoporosis until
their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes
a hip fracture or a vertebra to collapse. Collapsed vertebra may
initially be felt or seen in the form of severe back pain, loss
of height, or spinal deformities such as kyphosis, or severely stooped
Bone is living,
growing tissue. It is made mostly of collagen, a protein that provides
a soft framework, and calcium phosphate, a mineral that adds strength
and hardens the framework.This combination of collagen and calcium
makes bone strong yet flexible to withstand stress.
lifetime, old bone is removed (resorption) and new bone is added
to the skeleton (formation). During childhood and teenage years,
new bone is added faster than old bone is removed. Bone formation
continues at a pace faster than resorption until peak bone mass
(maximum bone density and strength) is reached around age 30. After
age 30, bone resorption slowly begins to exceed bone formation.
Bone loss is most rapid in the first few years after menopause but
persists into the postmenopausal years.
develops when bone resorption occurs too quickly or if replacement
occurs too slowly. Osteoporosis is more likely to develop if you
did not reach optimal bone mass during your bone building years.
are linked to the development of osteoporosis or contribute to an
individual's likelihood of developing the disease. These are called
"risk factors." Many people with osteoporosis have several of these
risk factors, but others who develop osteoporosis have no identified
risk factors. These are some risk factors you cannot change:
- Gender -
Your chances of developing osteoporosis are greater if you are
a woman. Women have less bone tissue and lose bone more rapidly
than men because of the changes involved in menopause.
- Age - the
older you are, the greater your risk of osteoporosis. Your bones
become less dense and weaker as you age.
- Body size
- Small, thin-boned women are at greater risk.
- Caucasian and Asian women are at highest risk. African-American
and Latino women have a lower but significant risk.
- Family history
- Susceptibility to fracture may be, in part, hereditary. People
whose parents have a history of fractures also seem to have reduced
bone mass and may be at risk for fractures.
you can change include:
- Sex hormones:
abnormal absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea), low estrogen
level (menopause), and low testosterone level in men.
A lifetime diet low in calcium and vitamin D.
- Use of certain
medications, such as glucocorticoids or some anticonvulsants.
- An inactive
lifestyle or extended bed rest.
use of alcohol.
is a special concern for men and women with osteoporosis. Falls
can increase the likelihood of fracturing a bone in the hip, wrist,
spine or other part of the skeleton. It is important that individuals
with osteoporosis be aware of any physical changes they may be experiencing
that affect their balance or gait, and that they discuss these changes
with their health care provider.
To reach optimal
peak bone mass and continue building new bone tissue as you get
older, there are several factors you should consider:
An inadequate supply of calcium over the lifetime is thought to
play a significant role in contributing to the development of
osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intakes
appear to be associated with low bone mass, rapid bone loss, and
high fracture rates. National nutrition surveys have shown that
many people consume less than half the amount of calcium recommended
to build and maintain healthy bones. Depending upon how much calcium
you get each day from food, you may need to take a calcium supplement.
- Vitamin D.
Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and in
bone health. It is synthesized in the skin through exposure to
sunlight. While many people are able to obtain enough vitamin
D naturally, studies show that vitamin D production decreases
in the elderly, in people who are housebound, and during the winter.
These individuals may require vitamin D supplementation to ensure
a daily intake of between 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D. Massive
doses are not recommended.
Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by
becoming stronger. The best exercise for your bones is weight-bearing
exercise, that forces you to work against gravity. These exercises
include walking, hiking, jogging, stair-climbing, weight training,
tennis, and dancing.
Smoking is bad for your bones as well as for your heart and lungs.
Regular consumption of 2 to 3 ounces a day of alcohol may be damaging
to the skeleton, even in young women and men. Those who drink
heavily are more prone to bone loss and fractures, both because
of poor nutrition as well as increased risk of falling.
that cause bone loss. The long-term use of glucocorticoids (medications
prescribed for a wide range of diseases, including arthritis,
asthma, Crohn's disease, lupus, and other diseases of the lungs,
kidneys, and liver) can lead to a loss of bone density and fractures.
Other forms of drug therapy that can cause bone loss include long-term
treatment with certain antiseizure drugs, such as phenytoin (Dilantinï¿½)
and barbiturates; gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs
used to treat endometriosis; excessive use of aluminum-containing
antacids; certain cancer treatments; and excessive thyroid hormone.
It is important to discuss the use of these drugs with your physician,
and not to stop or alter your medication dose on your own.
are available for the prevention, as well as treatment, of osteoporosis.
estrogen, calcitonin, alendronate, raloxifene, and risedronate are
approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the
treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Estrogen, alendronate,
risedronate, and raloxifene are approved for the prevention of the
disease. Alendronate is approved for the treatment of osteoporosis
in men. Alendronate and risedronate are approved for use by men
and women with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis.
provided by: The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal
and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892