Older Women Still Need Bone Checks to Prevent Fractures

Older Women Still Need Bone Checks to Prevent Fractures

As women age and enter the elderly range, they become increasingly susceptible to bone loss. This osteoporosis leaves them with less bone density, which opens them up to a greater risk of suffering fractures. Doctors are recommending more intensive osteoporosis screening, especially as the United States population’s average lifespan continues to increase and more people are living enough to suffer from medical problems that tend to only appear later in life.

The main problem with osteoporosis is many patients don’t know they have it, and thus are at risk of traumatic injury from even simple and non-traumatic accidents that once would have perhaps only left a bruise or two. This includes patients who carry increased osteoporosis risk from lifestyle behaviors they engaged in during their earlier years, such as smoking or excessive drinking. For many patients, the first time they are diagnosed with osteoporosis is after they’ve had a fall and suffered a bone fracture.

Some risk behaviors can move up when in a patient’s life they might start to develop osteoporosis. While it has traditionally been an elderly disease, it’s starting to appear sooner in some women. Menopause is a big trigger, when a woman’s body reduces how much estrogen it produces. This affects bone density, and can complicate existing risk factors for osteoporosis.

Key Points:

  • 1After menopause women are at higher risk of osteoporosis due to change in estrogen levels.
  • 2We can prevent bone fractures, we can treat osteoporosis with medicines to regenerate bone tissue.
  • 3There are not many studies done on men, but men who smoke are at higher risk for osteoporosis.

Because changes in bone mineral density happen slowly in most women, doctors don’t always agree on the ideal time to do bone tests or how often to repeat them.

See the original at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-osteoporosis/older-women-still-need-bone-checks-to-prevent-fractures-idUSKBN1JM2AA?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews

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