Midlife and Menopause
The Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis in Women
Osteoporosis is a brittle bone disease that occurs when bones become less dense. Some bone density decline is normal in both men and women, but some women lose bone faster at menopause, and again in the 70s. About 15% of women who are now 50 and who live to be very old will have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis produces no symptoms or only mild ones during early stages, such as backaches or back-muscle spasms. It becomes visible clearly on x-rays only when 30%-40% of bone density is lost. You may be unaware you have osteoporosis until you fracture your spine, hip, or wrist in a simple fall.
The guidelines posted here list the clinical recommendations for when women should be screened, who should consider screening, and what kind of prevention and treatments can be effective. The guidelines were written by the Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and are posted here with their permission.
The Prevention and Treatment Of Osteoporosis in Women (.pdf file)
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