Osteoporosis : A Progressive Bone Disease

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Osteoporosis Definition. Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease that is characterized by low bone mass along with continuous loss of bone tissue with increased fracture risk. The pathology is multi-factorial and there are several modifiable and non-modifiabale factors that contribute to the development of this disease. According to the World Health Organization, osteoporosis is defined as a systemic skeletal disease illustrated by a decrease in bone mass and bone tissue, causing a decrease in bone and a subsequent increase in fracture risk (1). Prevalence. Osteoporosis is seen worldwide and although it varies by country, race, and gender, it is a disease most commonly found in the elderly, specifically elderly women. An estimated 44 million Americans are affected by bone loss where 34 million of those suffer from osteopenia (low bone mass) and 10 million of those have osteoporosis; the prevalence of which is increasing and is projected to continue to increase over time (2, 3). Medical Costs. Fractures related to osteoporosis are a major health issue that manifests in the form of skeletal fractures that have detrimental effects on the quality of life of those who suffer and contribute to high medical costs. Approximately 2 million fractures yearly are attributed to osteoporosis, which amounts to about $17 billion dollars annually (4). Approximately 5-25% of those who suffer a hip fracture die within one year and more than 50% of fracture victims suffer from
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