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The National Osteoporosis Foundation Joins Organizations Worldwide to Raise Awareness about Osteoporosis and the Risk of Fractures on

World Osteoporosis Day, October 20th

Did you know that weak bones are not a normal part of aging? Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and fragile, so that they break easily – even from a minor fall or a sneeze. Fractures caused by osteoporosis can be life-threatening and a major cause of chronic pain and long-term disability. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), the nation’s leading healthcare organization dedicated to bone health, encourages everyone to know your risk factors for osteoporosis and take steps to protect your ability to live an active and independent life as you age.

An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone mass, putting them at greater risk for breaking a bone. According to population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau, there will be 72 million baby boomers (women and men age 51-72) in 2019. Studies show that one in two women and up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.

“In the U.S., osteoporosis is responsible for two million broken bones every year. On October 20th, World Osteoporosis Day, NOF joins with patient organizations around the globe urging people to learn the risk factors for osteoporosis and take appropriate action to protect their bone health,” said Elizabeth Thompson, CEO of NOF. “If you are age 65 or older and at risk, Medicare Part B covers a bone density test once every 24 months (more often if medically necessary) at no cost to you, when your doctor or other qualified provider orders it. Take advantage of this opportunity to get screened.”

There are a variety of factors, both controllable and uncontrollable, that put you at risk for developing osteoporosis. It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider about your risk factors for osteoporosis and discuss a plan to protect your bones.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

  • Being over age 50
  • Being female
  • Menopause
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Low body weight/being small and thin
  • Broken bones or height loss

Controllable Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

  • Not getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet
  • Not eating enough fruits and vegetables
  • Getting too much protein, sodium and caffeine in your diet
  • Having an inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Losing too much weight

A women’s risk of breaking a hip due to osteoporosis is equal to her risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined. And a man age 50 or older is more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than he is to get prostate cancer.

NOF’s website offers important information and resources about risks related to osteoporosis, fractures and treatment.  Visit NOF.org for these resources and more.

About the National Osteoporosis Foundation
Established in 1984, the National Osteoporosis Foundation is the nation’s leading health organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis and broken bones, promoting strong bones for life and reducing human suffering through programs of awareness, education, advocacy and research. For more information on the National Osteoporosis Foundation, visit www.bonehealthandosteoporosis.org.

About World Osteoporosis Day
Through early prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, millions of men and women all over the world can reduce their risk of painful, debilitating and life-threatening fractures. We invite the public, healthcare professionals and organizations worldwide to join IOF and its 240-member societies in raising awareness of bone health and calling for action on osteoporosis and fracture prevention in their communities. Learn more at http://worldosteoporosisday.org/.