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Osteoporosis is characterized by bone becoming more brittle leading to an increased incidence of fracture. These fractures most often occur in the hip, forearm, and spine. Of the 9 million osteoporotic fractures in the year 2000, 51% occurred in Europe and America. The other 49% happening in Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions. These osteoporotic conditions develop most often in aging women after menopause. Approximately 200 million women have osteoporosis throughout the world. It is estimated that one in every ten women in their 60s has osteoporosis, one in every five women in their 70s, two in every five women in their 80s, and two in every three women in their 90s. These numbers in more developed countries are estimated to increase by four times by the year 2050 with more individuals living longer.

There are many factors that contribute to the development of osteoporosis including body mass, alcohol use, physical inactivity, poverty, and exposure to sunlight. The incidence of osteoporotic tissue development and fractures is higher in caucasian populations. Once an individual develops a fracture they are 86% likely to develop another fracture.

To decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis early intake of calcium as a child, vitamin D, appropriate nutrition, and physical activity should be utilized. Weight-bearing exercises help to develop increased bone mass. Osteoblastic activity encourages increased bone mass peaks between ages 25 and 30 in long bones.

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5. Kanis JA, Johnell O, De Laet C, et al. (2004) A meta-analysis of previous fracture and subsequent fracture risk. Bone 35:375.



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