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Disorder where certain bones (notably vertebrae, hip bones, wrist bones) become fragile and at risk of fracture. Bone is an active tissue in a constant state of turnover. Bone density peaks at c. 30 years, and peak bone mass is boosted by weight-bearing exercise and adequate calcium intake. In some individuals, the subsequent decline in bone density escalates to osteoporosis.
BUPA. Osteoporosis fact sheet with animation. https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/muscles-bones-joints/osteoporosis
British Nutrition Foundation. Bone and joint health https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/health-conditions/bone-and-joint-health.html
The Royal Osteoporosis Society https://theros.org.uk
Prevention and detection of osteoporosis, and management of existing disease, are important because of its potentially disabling consequences, for example, spinal collapse as a result of vertebral fractures, loss of mobility following a hip fracture.
Factors associated with a high risk of osteoporosis include:
Other risk factors include:
Screening and treatment
Recommendations on eligibility for osteoporosis screening and treatment are complicated. Screening for osteoporosis is by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning (see table below), and drug treatment can boost bone strength.
The WHO developed the FRAX tool for evaluation of a patient’s fracture risk. Algorithms give a 10-year probability (absolute risk) of hip fracture and of a major osteoporotic fracture (spine, forearm, hip or shoulder). UK researchers have developed QFractureScores, alternative fracture risk algorithms for use in the UK.
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Osteoporosis and fractures: diagnosis and management Kirsty Carne
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