Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder characterised by low bone mass and a deterioration of bone tissue. These factors cause bone fragility and an increased risk in bone fracture. Osteoporosis is the most common cause for broken bones among the elderly.
Until a broken bone occurs there are typically no symptoms. Nevertheless, early identification of individuals with low bone mineral density (BMD) and clinical risk factors helps in the early diagnosis of osteoporosis. This approach, together with appropriate treatment, is essential in reducing the incidence of bone fractures.
It is estimated that around 75% percent of women over the age of 50 have low bone mineral density, and 50% of people with osteoporosis will develop a fracture in their lifetime.
Various diseases and lifestyle habits, such as smoking, alcohol or poor diet, can lead to increased bone loss and osteoporosis at an earlier age. Osteoporosis risk factors include:
- Suffering a bone fracture after the age of 50.
- Advanced age (over 65 years).
- Early menopause, spontaneous or surgical (before the age of 45).
- Hypogonadism in men.
- Low calcium.
- Tobacco and alcohol consumption.
- Maternal history of femoral fracture.
- Low weight (body mass index under 20).
- Prolonged physical inactivity.
- Drugs that increase the risk of osteoporosis: corticoids, anti-epileptics, some cancer treatment drugs, etc….
- Disorders that cause low bone density (osteopenia): rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory arthropathies, hyperthyroidism, transplants, Cushing’s syndrome, liver diseases and inflammatory bowel disease, hyperparathyroidism, chronic inflammatory diseases and anorexia nervosa, among others.
Services and treatments
Hospital Ochoa’s Osteoporosis department provides the following services and treatments:
- Rheumatologist specialised in osteoporosis and bone metabolism disorders.
- Central bone densitometry of the spinal column and hip, which helps assess the amount of calcium in the bone.
- Specialised blood tests.
- Radiological study for assessment of vertebral compression fractures, including personalised recommendations.
- Disease management and monitored treatment.