Nationwide, as many as 80 percent of fragility fracture patients don’t get the right osteoporosis care. More patients (over 2 million) suffer fractures each year than suffer from heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer combined.

Osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and fragile, is more common in women, but men get it, too. Usually, it happens after age 60. You might not know you have osteoporosis until you break a bone after a fall or bump. Once it gets worse, you might develop symptoms like back pain or notice you’re not as tall as you used to be.

Types of osteoporosis >>

Many things lead to osteoporosis:

  • Age, gender and body type
  • Risks increase with age.
  • After menopause, women lack the estrogen that protects against bone loss.
  • People who are slender are more at risk.
  • Family history.
  • Osteoporosis tends to run in families.
  • People of European and Asian background are at higher risk.
  • Lifestyle.
  • Smoking.
  • Not getting enough weight-bearing exercise.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D.


It's important to find and treat osteoporosis early to prevent bone fractures. Experts advise bone density testing for women age 65 and older. If you have a higher risk for fractures, testing should be done even sooner.

Medical treatment reduces bone loss and builds bone thickness. You also need to take enough calcium and vitamin D to build strong, healthy bones. Osteoporosis can be slowed with healthy habits. If you smoke, quit. Get more exercise, including walking, jogging, dancing and lifting weights. Eat healthful foods rich in calcium and vitamin D (yogurt, cheese and milk for calcium; eggs, fatty fish and fortified cereal for vitamin D).

When you have osteoporosis, it's important to protect against falls. Make your home safer by ensuring there’s enough light, stairs have handrails and tripping hazards like throw rugs and clutter are removed.