Gender Ethnicracial And Life Span Considerations

Osteoporosis is the twelfth leading cause of death in the United States and accounts for more than $6 billion in health-related costs each year. More than 1.5 million fractures per year occur in persons over age 45. The incidence in women is five times greater than in men, and approximately 50% of all women over age 65 have symptomatic osteoporosis. Whites and Asian Americans have a higher prevalence of osteoporosis than other groups.

Two types of primary osteoporosis have been identified. Postmenopausal osteoporosis occurs in women between the ages of 60 and 70, with wrist and vertebral fractures a common injury; senile osteoporosis occurs in people over 70, and women are affected twice as often as men. Senile osteoporosis often produces hip and vertebral fractures. The mortality rate for elderly patients with hip fractures is more than 50%, and the resulting disability can be devastating.

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