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Hidden Risk of Bone Fracture

Postmenopausal women may unknowingly have bone loss great enough to put them at short-term risk of bone fracture. This was the startling conclusion of a study of over 200,000 women over age 50 who did not have a previous diagnosis of osteoporosis.

Bone scans revealed that 40% of the women had lost bone density while an additional 7% had advanced bone loss (osteoporosis). The women were followed up a year later to see how many broke bones. The fracture rate in women with low bone density was nearly double that of normal women, and four times higher in women with osteoporosis. In addition, at the start of the study, 11% of women reported they had already had at least one fracture since age 45.

If you're a middle-aged woman or older, we urge you to come in for an assessment of your risk. You can also get more information from our osteoporosis web page.

Source: Siris, ES et al, Identification and fracture outcomes of undiagnosed low bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: results from the National Osteoporosis Risk Assessment, JAMA. 2001 Dec 12;286(22):2815-22