Osteoporosis is a condition that causes thinning and weakening of bones. Brittle bones are more prone to fractures. These fractures may happen even with very minimal trauma. Although any bone can be affected, the fractures typically occur in the hip, spine and wrist.
Worldwide, 200 million women suffer from osteoporosis and a woman’s risk of hip fracture is the same as her combined risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. In Singapore, the number of osteoporosis - related hip fractures in women over 50 years is 8 times more than that of breast cancer cases.
Although women 50 years or older are most at risk for osteoporosis, younger women and men can also be affected.
Peak bone mass is attained by the age of 30. After that, bone mass gradually decreases. In pregnant and lactating women, the pace of bone loss will temporarily increase if the increased calcium demands of pregnancy or breastfeeding are not met by increased dietary intake of calcium. In women, there is also a significant decrease of bone mass in the immediate period following the onset of menopause.
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