With May being Osteoporosis Awareness Month, we asked Dr. Linda Brecher, rheumatologist at Shore’s Osteoporosis Center, to share some facts and figures about this “silent disease” and how Shore can help.
Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone that makes a person’s bones weak and more likely to break. It is often called a “silent disease” because those affected cannot feel their bones getting weaker. You may not even know you have osteoporosis until after you break a bone.
Approximately 10 million Americans have osteoporosis and another 44 million have low bone density, placing them at increased risk to break a bone.
- Half of all adults age 50 and older are at risk of breaking a bone and should be concerned about bone health.
- One in two women and up to one in four men will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis. For women, the incidence is greater than that of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined.
- People with osteoporosis can break a bone from a minor fall, or in serious cases, even from simple actions like sneezing or bumping into furniture.
- Bone density testing (DEXA) is the preferred way to determine risk for fracture and diagnose osteoporosis. This test is recommended in all women over age 65 years old as well as other individuals at risk for osteoporosis.
All individuals who have had a broken bone occurring without trauma should be evaluated for osteoporosis. Once one fracture has occurred, the risk for another broken bone is much higher.
As you can see, osteoporosis is a serious disease. This is why Dr. Brecher launched the Osteoporosis Center located at Shore Medical Center. With a dedicated center, the first of its kind in South Jersey, patients over 50 with a history of fracture or risk factors for osteoporosis can be evaluated and treated for osteoporosis. The mission of the Osteoporosis Center is to help people “build stronger bones and prevent future fractures.”
Shore’s Osteoporosis Center can provide you with a complete bone health assessment, which includes a complete history and physical exam with an osteoporosis specialist. This visit will provide education about osteoporosis and guidance regarding both nonprescription and prescription methods of treatment for bone health. If you or a loved one would like to have a bone health evaluation at the Osteoporosis Center, please call 609.365.6212 to schedule an appointment.