The Occurrence of Osteoporosis

by Michael_Koger

Osteoporosis is a well-known medical condition in which there is a decrease in bone density and mass.

Millions of Americans today have osteoporosis. Some are aware of the condition, and others are not. It is especially common in Caucasian and Asian women as well as elderly people. Nevertheless, it affects individuals of all age groups, gender, and race. Small or thin women are prone to have it, and those who have a family member who has suffered from a fracture due to this disease will be susceptible [1, 2].

Risk factors, therefore, include age, racial/ethnic group, gender, body size, and family history. It also has to do with dietary intake as people who do not consume adequate calcium or vitamin D may be prone to this infirmity. Moreover, anorexia nervosa and sedentary lifestyle can lead to it. Of all risk factors, age is the strongest [1, 2].

Fall Risk

This illness may be asymptomatic for many years as the process of bone loss occurs over time.  When clients are not aware that they have it, they may not take very good precautions to avoid falls, and this places them in danger of fractures.  Elderly patients are especially vulnerable for this because there is impairment in their vision or balance.  They may also take sedatives, and this can lead to injuries as well [1, 2].

Osteoporosis weakens the bones, and the hip, spine, and wrist are especially likely to break should a person experience loss of balance [1].

Preventive Measures

To prevent these hazards, there are several things elderly people and their families can do.  A flashlight next to the bed and the presence of a cane are beneficial.  It is also helpful to keep floors and carpets free of objects over which they may trip.  Additionally, rubber mats and grab bars in the bath will provide better stability for them than when those items are not available [1].

Conclusion

Osteoporosis is a chronic medical condition that especially affects elderly white women; however, no age, gender, or racial group is immune to its occurrence.

References

  1. National Institutes of Health.  (2014).  What is osteoporosis?
  2. Batur, P., Schwarz, E., Walsh, J., and Johnson, K.  (2016).  Women’s health 2016:  An update for internists.  Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 83, 905-913.
  3. The photo shows a library at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and is reprinted with permission from that organization.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact their physician for advice.

Updated: 01/17/2017, Michael_Koger
 
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