What Is Osteoporosis and What Does It Mean for You?
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that can get worse over time. It can cause you to lose bone mineral density and bone mass, which can cause your bones to become fragile. You may not realize this is happening in your body because you can't feel your bones getting weaker.
If osteoporosis progresses, bones can become weak and you can experience a fracture that wouldn't occur in normal bone. The symptoms of your osteoporosis may not be visible unless you have a fracture, so you may not even know you have the disease until you break a bone or a test shows that you have low bone mineral density. And if you've had one broken bone due to osteoporosis, your risk for having another
Osteoporosis is a serious disease, not a normal part of aging. Although there's no cure for osteoporosis, you can take control by taking precautions and tracking how your osteoporosis is treated to help protect yourself from fractures.
Terms Your Doctor May Use:
"Bone Mineral Density Test" "BMD Test" "DXA Scan"
All of these terms mean the same thing. The result of your BMD test is called a T-score and it helps a doctor assess the severity of osteoporosis.
You're Not Alone
There are 12 million Americans estimated to have osteoporosis—9.1 million are women and 2.8 million are men. Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis because they can lose up to 15% of their bone mineral density in the 5 to 7 years after menopause.
- Approximately 1/2 of all women aged 50 years or older will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their remaining lifetime.
- Approximately 1/4 of all men aged 50 years or older will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their remaining lifetime.
The effect of FORTEO on fractures has not been studied in men.
Assess Your Risk
Osteoporosis is sometimes known as a "silent" disease because it often has few warning signs or symptoms. That means you may not know you have it or that it's getting worse until after you've broken a bone. If you've had one fracture due to osteoporosis, it can lead to an increased risk of more fractures. Research studies have shown:
|Women who have had a hip fracture due to osteoporosis are 4 times more likely to have another.|
|Nearly 20% of women who sustain a new spine fracture will have another spine fracture within 12 months.|
If you have osteoporosis, some factors that can put you at higher risk for osteoporotic fracture include:
Your risk of osteoporotic fracture goes up with age.
History of Fracture
One fracture may put you at risk for future fractures.
Low Bone Mineral Density (BMD)
This is measured by your T-score.
These are not all the risk factors for osteoporosis. Talk to your healthcare professional to learn more.
Learn About Your T-score
Your T-score compares your BMD to the average BMD in young adults. Osteoporosis is defined as a T-score of -2.5 or lower. The lower, or more negative your T-score, the more likely you are to be at high risk for fracture due to osteoporosis.