Vulnerable Bones: The Risks of Osteoporosis After 65
Did you know that most people reach peak bone mass around age 30? By 40, our bodies are less capable of replacing lost bone matter, resulting in thinner, weaker bones, which can eventually lead to osteoporosis – the most common bone disease. Osteoporosis is the weakening of bone tissue, structure and strength, and can increase your risk of fractures.1
Women over 65 are at the highest risk, and according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, “10.2 million [Americans] are estimated to have osteoporosis, of which more than 80% were women.”2
People with osteoporosis are more likely to break bones and not just by falling. The disease can weaken bones to the point where a strong cough or slight bump results in a fracture. Plus, aging bodies have a harder time repairing themselves. A broken bone for a senior with osteoporosis can mean lasting pain – or worse, loss of mobility and independence.
It’s important to catch osteoporosis as early as possible, but many seniors don’t even know they have it until they break a bone. That makes regular screening even more important.
There are steps you can take to reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis, such as:
● Eat a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.
● Maintain a healthy weight and physically active lifestyle.
● Ask your doctor if any medication you’re on could negatively impact your bones.
● Reduce alcohol consumption and do not smoke.
If you or someone you know is Medicare-eligible and searching for a senior-focused primary care doctor, visit www.CenterWellPrimaryCare.com or call 832-915-3320. CenterWell has 12 locations in Houston and surrounding areas with 4 more opening in 2021.
1 Sarafrazi N, Wambogo EA, Shepherd JA. Osteoporosis or low bone mass in older adults: United States, 2017–2018. NCHS Data Brief, no 405. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:103477
2 Wright, N.C., et al., The recent prevalence of osteoporosis and low bone mass in the United States based on bone mineral density at the femoral neck or lumbar spine. J Bone Miner Res, 2014. 29(11): p. 2520-6.