Women and Bone Disease

Women and Bone Disease
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Osteoporosis in women is a metabolic bone disease that is characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue.1 Bone metabolism is the constant process through which the body removes old bone and replaces it with new bone.

Osteoporosis in women occurs when the body either loses too much bone density, does not make enough, or when there is a combination of both factors. This results in increased fragility of the bone, leading to the risk of fractures. The World Health Organization estimates that the lifetime risk for wrist, hip, or vertebral fractures occurring in people living in developed countries is very close to their risk for developing coronary heart disease.2

Women outnumber men when it comes to prevalence of osteoporosis and the incidence of fractures associated with the disease. By 2050, the worldwide incidence of hip fracture in men is projected to increase to over 1 million, but the incidence of hip fracture in women will be more than double that of men.3

  • Over 200 million people suffer from osteoporosis worldwide.4
  • Eighty percent of people suffering from osteoporosis are women.5
  • Women have a 40–50% risk of having a fracture during their lifetime, while men have a 13–22% risk.6


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1Website [Internet]. [cited 2013 Mar 19] Available from: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/330598-overview

2WHO Scientific Group on the Assessment of Osteoporosis at Primary Health Care Level [Internet]. [cited 2013 Mar 19] Available from: http://www.who.int/chp/topics/Osteoporosis.pdf

3Gullberg B, Johnell O, Kanis JA. Worldwide projections for hip fracture. Osteoporosis Int. 1997;7:407-13.

4Reginster JY, Burlet N. Osteoporosis: A still increasing prevalence. Bone. 2006 Feb;38(2 Suppl 1):S4-9.

5Osteoporosis/Bone Health in Adults as a National Public Health Priority [Internet]. AAOS. Available from: http://www.aaos.org/about/papers/position/1113.asp

6Johnell O, Kanis J. Epidemiology of osteoporotic fractures. Osteoporis Int. 2005 Mar; 16(Suppl 2):S3-7. Epub 2004 Sep 8.