Two Surprising New Osteoporosis Studies

The word osteoporosis directly translates to ‘porous bones.’ Osteoporosis happens when a person’s bones lose protein and calcium. Over time, the bones start to deteriorate and become weak. They can break easily, which means any amount of physical activity can be dangerous and extremely painful.
Osteoporosis is a fairly common problem in the senior community.  Not only does it take a personal toll in the form of injuries, but it also takes a financial toll with medical bills and lost work time.
Scientists continue to research this condition that resulted in over 9 million fractures worldwide last year.  And now they think they have found two big pieces to the puzzle.
First, they realized that age has more to do with osteoporosis than they thought.  They knew, of course, that age was related, but they thought that other factors such as nutrition and exercise levels were bigger determinants.  Not so, say the latest studies.
It was found that women who were over 70 years of age were much more likely to have osteoporosis than those who were 65 years old, even when weighing other factors.  This new discovery will help doctors more easily diagnose osteoporosis.
Second, doctors found that more men have osteoporosis than they thought.  Osteoporosis in women is caught during routine bone density scans.  Many men do not get routine scans and don’t realize they have osteoporosis until they have severe pain or break a bone.  If a man has certain risk factors such as history of smoking, caffeine use, or lack of exercise, he should have his bones tested regularly during his senior years.
As research continues, hopefully doctors will be able to diagnose and treat osteoporosis more easily.  But until then, seniors should get a bone scan and regularly exercise to promote bone health.
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Image courtesy of Reed Group.