Osteoporosis is a disease characterised by low bone mass and the deterioration of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture, particularly of the hip, spine and wrist.

In the UK, about one in two women over the age of 50 and one in five men over 50 will break a bone, mainly due to poor bone health.1  Worldwide, it is estimated that a bone will break every three seconds because of this disease.

There are several steps you can take to stay fit and mobile, such as eating a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Exercise – particularly weight-bearing exercise – is also important, as it may help protect bones and provide other health benefits.  Please contact a doctor if you have any of the risk factors for osteoporosis.

Risk Factors
• Age 65 or older
• Previous fractures
• Family history of osteoporotic fracture (especially if your mother had a hip fracture)
• Long-term (more than three months' continuously) use of corticosteroid tablets
• Medical conditions that affect the absorption of food such as Crohns or coeliac disease
• Tendency to fall
• Hypogonadism (low testosterone in men, loss of menstrual periods in younger women)
• Early menopause (before age 45)
• Hyperthyroidism (when levels of thyroid hormone are abnormally high)
• Prolonged use of anti-epileptic drugs
• Prolonged heparin use
• Low body weight
• Low calcium intake
• Excess caffeine (consistently more than four cups a day of coffee, cola or some energy drinks)
• Excess alcohol (consistently more than two drinks a day)
• Smoking

Related Links:
National Osteoporosis Society

1 http://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-and-statistics
2 http://www.iofbonehealth.org/osteoporosis-musculoskeletal-disorders (4.9.2013)