Essay by irene16High School, 10th gradeA-, March 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

General Information

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and decay of bone tissue. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture, mostly of the hip, spine and wrist. Any bone can be affected, but doctors pay more attention to fractures of the hip and spine. A hip fracture almost always requires hospitalization and major surgery. It can hurt a person's ability to walk unassisted and may cause prolonged or permanent disability or even death. Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, including loss of height, severe back pain, and deformity.

Osteoporosis is often known as "the silent thief" because bone loss occurs without symptoms. One in four women over the age of 50 has osteoporosis. One in eight men over 50 has the disease but, the disease can strike at any age. In the U.S. 10 million people are estimated to already have the disease and 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass, putting them at increased risk for osteoporosis.

The general amount spent on the disease daily is about 48 million a day (17 billion a year).


*There are 10 million Americans who are estimated to have osteoporosis, eight million are women and 2 million are men.

*34 million Americans, or 55% of the people 50 years of age and older, have low bone mass, which puts them at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis and related fractures.

*A higher risk has been reported in people of all ethnic backgrounds.

*While osteoporosis is often an older person's disease, it can strike at any age.


*Eighty percent of the affected by osteoporosis are women.

*Five percent of non-Hispanic black women over age 50 are estimated to have osteoporosis, an additional 35 percent have low bone mass that puts them...