The number one cause of hospitalizations for women is not breast cancer, stroke or heart attack—it’s fractures caused by osteoporosis. A study published in the December 2014 Mayo Clinic Proceedings used data from more than 1,000 hospitals across the country to show that broken bones in the hip, pelvis, arm, leg and spine caused by osteoporosis landed nearly 4.9 million American women 55 and older in hospitals from 2000–2011.
The most eye-opening finding of the study was that 25% of the women who broke a hip died within a year. Of those who survived, many were no longer independent. Half of the women with broken hips had previously broken another bone but had not undergone a bone density test.
The study authors underscored the need for early diagnosis and prevention. Recommendations included:
• Requesting a bone density test if you had a fracture after you turned 50
• Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D
• Weight-bearing exercises
• Prescription medications, such as bisphosphonates, which slow bone breakdown
Source: Mayo Clinic