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Osteoporosis is a condition in which a progressive decrease in bone density weakens the bones, making fractures likely. About 8 million women and 2 million men in the United States have osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. If not prevented or if left untreated, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks. Any bone can be affected, but of special concern are fractures of the hip and spine. Hip and spine fractures almost always requires hospitalization and may include major surgery.
·        Millions of Americans are at risk. While women are four times more likely than men to develop the disease, men also suffer from osteoporosis.
·        Close to 1.2 million bone fractures in the United States each year are related to osteoporosis.
·        50,000 people die each year from post-fracture complications, and as many as one-fifth of people suffering from osteoporosis end up in a nursing home.
·        Yearly, 300,000 women suffer a hip fracture caused by the weakened bones of osteoporosis and within a year approximately one-fifth will die
Bone Mineral Density Test
To help diagnose osteoporosis, a doctor may first conduct a full medical exam, then order a specialized test known as a bone mineral density (BMD) test. A BMD test is quick, accurate, painless, and safe. It is commonly used to measure the density of various bones throughout the body, including the spine, wrist, hip, heel, or hand. A BMD test can:
·        Detect low bone density before a fracture occurs
·        Confirm osteoporosis after a fracture occurs
·        Predict the risk of experiencing a fracture in the future
·        Determine the response to treatment