Friends of New London Hospital May/June 2013
Men and women slowly lose bone density as they age,
increasing their risk for falls and fractures. Osteoporosis
can affect people of all ages, but it is far more common
in older people than younger people and some lose
more bone or lose it faster. According to the National
Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin
Diseases, more than 40 million people either already have
osteoporosis or are at high risk due to low bone mass.
Osteoporosis has no single known cause, but certain
risk factors can increase your chances of developing
the disease. Risk factors include things that you cannot
change, such as gender and age, as well as lifestyle risk
factors that you can control, including eating healthy
and staying active. Although women get osteoporosis
Bone Basics –
Bones Healthy and Strong
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more often than men, it’s not just a woman’s disease.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation,
up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break
a bone because of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is known as a silent disease as bone
loss does not show any signs. However there are
preventative measures that you can take to keep your
bones strong, including eating a healthy diet with the
proper amount of calcium and vitamin D, exercising
regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and eliminating
unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol.
In addition to knowing how to prevent bone loss, there
are ways to check the density of your bones. A bone
density scan is a test that can diagnose osteoporosis
before a broken bone occurs. The scan is painless and
only takes 10 to 15 minutes. Not every older person
gets osteoporosis, but it does become more common
with age so it’s important to talk with your doctor
to learn about your bone health. Bone density scans
are available at NLH, Monday through Friday.
For more information call 603-526-5249.
Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation
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Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
Women get osteoporosis more often
Osteoporosis becomes more common with age
Heredity and genetics play a role
If you have broken one or more bones you
are at a greater risk
Women and Men with small bones are
at a higher risk
Lifestyle Risk Factors
Not getting enough Calcium or Vitamin D
Lack of exercise
Excessive protein, sodium or caffeine
Consuming too much alcohol
Smoking increases your risk
Bone density scanning equipment