1 in 2 women will get an Osteoporotic fracture. This compares to 1 in 4 men. 90% of hip fractures are due to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis generally does not cause any symptoms until a fracture occurs. Certain patient groups are at higher risk of developing Osteoporosis and fracture:
- Early or premature menopause
- Very low BMI
- Sedentary lifestyle / reduce mobility
- Coeliac disease or other causes of malabsorption
- Overactive parathyroid and parathyroid disease
- Long term use of steroids
- Family history of osteoporosis
- History of Rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory bone diseases
- Vitamin D deficiency /poor diet
- High alcohol intake
- Previous history of fracture
- Previous history of fall
- Osteopenia* on DEXA scan
*Osteopenia means reduced bone density resulting in increased risk of developing osteoporosis & fractures.
For people at increased risk of osteoporosis, a DEXA scan will be organised. The DEXA will establish the presence of Osteopenia or Osteoporosis but it should not be used on its own in deciding treatment options. It is important to establish the fracture risk either by SCORE or FRAX; the ultimate goal is to prevent fractures and reduce mortality and morbidity.
- T-score of -2.5 or less at hip or spine on DEXA
- Low impact fracture
- FRAX score 10 year risk of hip fracture > 3 % , or risk of major Osteoporotic fracture with Osteopenia > 20 %
It is very important to look after your bones no matter what age you are. A good calcium intake such as the regular consumption of milk, cheese and yogurts, adequate vitamin D levels, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising ( including weight bearing and resistance training ) will significantly improve bone health.