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Osteoporosis is a disease that makes bones thin and weak (Osteoporosis Canada). One in four women over the age of 50 has Osteoporosis and at least one in eight men over 50 also has this disease. As a result of weaker bones, it is easier to fracture a bone while doing simple everyday activities. Fractures of the wrist, spine and hip are most common. With proper screening and management, bones can be made stronger and fractures prevented.
If Osteoporosis is not caught in an early stage, it will lead to the following :
- Pain from broken bones
- Deformity – caused by fractures in the spine (vertebral fractures). Your back will look hunched over and you will lose height. This deformity can affect your breathing and digestion because your internal organs will become compressed.
- Disability – osteoporosis can lead to a broken hip. Up to fifty percent of people who survive a hip fracture are left with some kind of disability. Many people are no longer able to live independently following a hip fracture and will need to be cared for in a nursing home.
- Death – Up to 20 percent of people who have a hip fracture die from complications within a year of their fracture. (Osteoporosis and You, a Guide to Bone Health – Osteoporosis Canada, 2007)