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Bone Up on Your Knowledge of Osteoporosis

Posted Jun 15 2009 5:30pm
Osteoporosis can cause the loss of 20 percent of total bone mass for women in the first five to seven years after menopause, but it may be reversed if detected early. Even with advanced cases, treatment can improve bone health.

At the Sinai Hospital Center for Bone Health, our osteoporosis experts can deduce whether you need treatment or are at risk.

Out of the 10 million Americans estimated to have osteoporosis, eight million are women. It’s estimated that over 1.5 million bone fractures each year are because of osteoporosis, making it a public health risk for 55 percent of Americans who are 50 and older, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Risk factors for osteoporosis include a family history, advanced age, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, or a vitamin D deficiency. Those taking corticosteroids for conditions such as arthritis or colitis are especially at risk for bone loss. Low body weight (less than 127 pounds) and anorexia also are high risk factors for developing osteoporosis.

The Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Sinai provides comprehensive consultative services to patients with a wide variety of endocrinologic and metabolic disorders, including osteoporosis and calcium disorders. Although osteoporosis often isn’t diagnosed until after age 50, the disease gets its start years, or even decades, earlier.


According to Sinai Hospital Center for Bone Health director and endocrinologist Esther Krug, M.D., all women over age 65, regardless of whether they have any symptoms of osteoporosis, should be screened. At Sinai, a painless and non-invasive test can help measure the bone mineral density and predict the chances of future fractures. This test, called a DXA scan, provides baseline measurements of the bone density of the hip and spine and then is compared with similar measurements in the future to evaluate changes in bone mineral density.


Even with a diagnosis of osteoporosis, with proper treatment women and men can lead safe, active and pain-free lives, Krug says.


For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 410-601-WELL (9355).
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