:: General Features of Disease

  • Also called porous bone disease or brittle bone disease
  • Characterized by reduced bone density and strength
  • Associated with increased risk of fractures
  • Bones most susceptible to breaking are:
    • Spinal vertebrae
    • Hip
    • Wrists
    • Ribs
  • Initial symptom is often mid- to lower back pain
  • Causes decrease in height of up to 15 cm, and curvature of the spine (kyphosis) resulting in "dowager's hump"

:: Prevalence

  • More prevalent in women than men, but affects both sexes
  • Osteoporosis is a major and costly public health issue. Prevalence and cost are expected to increase as population ages
  • Persons of white or Asian descent are most likely to be affected
  • More prevalent among older persons, but can strike at any age

:: Impact

  • Hip fractures are associated with increased risk of mortality: 25% of sufferers die within one year of breaking their hips
  • Only half of those breaking a hip return to pre-injury functional status
  • In 1990, 25 000 Canadians suffered hip fractures; the cost of acute and long-term rehabilitative care was estimated to be $400 million

:: Diagnosis

Bone mineral density measurement is typically required for making the diagnosis and is generally performed by:
:: Risk Factors

  • Gender: women are more susceptible
  • Advanced age
  • Early menopause, estrogen deficiency, abnormal absence or suppression of menstruation
  • Family history of disease, especially minimum trauma fracture
  • Small, thin or tall, lean build
  • Calcium and vitamin D intake deficiency
  • Physical inactivity or immobilization
  • Excessive use of corticosteroids, thyroid medications, anticonvulsants, or anticoagulants
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol

If after consulting this list you feel you are at risk for osteoporosis, consult your physician.

Disclaimer: the information contained in the Osteoporosis Fact Sheet has been done to the best of our knowledge. However, neither CaMos nor its staff can be held responsible for its accuracy, and, in consequence, we disclaim any liability directly or indirectly from the use of the information conveyed.
:: Quick links

Bone and tooth society

Arthritis Society

Osteoporosis Canada