Osteoporosis is a silent disease; many women and men are not aware that they have it until they suffer a fracture. These fractures are common: approximately one in three women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.1
The disease is prevalent in women of all races, especially those with low body weight and/or a family history of related bone diseases. While women make up 80% of osteoporosis cases, men are also at risk of developing osteoporosis. The risk is elevated if they smoke, drink, have a family history of the disease, or have a condition necessitating treatment with certain medications. A man age 50 or older is as likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis as he is to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.1
If you are concerned about your risk of developing osteoporosis, talk with your doctor to arrange a test. The most common test for this disease is dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DXA (pronounced “Dexa”). This special X-ray is fast, painless, and uses low levels of radiation to measure bone density. The amount of radiation exposure is about one-tenth of that of a chest X-ray.2 In addition, you can also assess your risk for suffering an osteoporotic fracture by using a simple online calculator, FRAX. These results should be discussed with your doctor.