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Facts About Bone Health
& Osteoporosis

Strong bones serve as the body’s foundation, and optimal bone health allows people to thrive and maintain their mobility and independence.

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Osteoporosis, which means “porous bones,” is both preventable and treatable, regardless of age, through engaging in healthy behaviors and safe physical activity. Moreover, eating nutrient-rich foods and participating in exercises promoting better posture, stamina and coordination can contribute to maximum bone health.

Risk Factors

A person’s risk of breaking a bone depends on various factors, including age, gender, genetics, other chronic medical conditions and medication(s) used. Below are some facts about osteoporosis in the United States and in the Greater Tampa Bay Area.

Risk Factors with Bone Health
  • In the U.S., more than 53 million people have osteoporosis or low bone density.
  • In the U.S., one in two women over 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. 
  • Current data suggests more women in the Tampa Bay region are getting diagnosed with osteoporosis than are getting treated.
  • Approximately 16,060 osteoporosis-related fractures occur annually in the Tampa Bay Area in women ages 65 and older.
  • In 2018, nearly 45% of falls in Pinellas County occurred due to poor bone health in people over 60; in 2019, 51% of bone health-related falls in Pinellas County occurred in people ages 60 or older.
  • Bone loss for women begins in their 50s when estrogen levels drop during menopause. Women can maximize their bone health by increasing their daily calcium and vitamin D intake, engaging in weight-bearing exercise and improving their posture and body mechanics.
  • Other chronic conditions that can increase a person’s risk for bone loss and fractures include diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney or liver disease and lupus.

There are many medications that impact the bones and that can increase fracture risks, including corticosteroids and some cancer-treating drugs.

Take Action

To spur bone health, consider taking the following actions:

1. Partake in weight bearing activities that require a variety of movements, including pickleball, tennis, yoga, dancing or weight training.

2. Eat foods dense in calcium, vitamin D, protein and magnesium.

  • Foods loaded with calcium include dairy products like low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese. 
  • Calcium is also found, to a lesser extent, in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.
  • Vitamin D assists the body in absorbing calcium, and people can get vitamin D through eating fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna along with eggs, cheese and milk.
  • The sun can be a source of vitamin D, yet it is not reliable for various reasons.
  • Some people might require calcium or vitamin D supplements, depending on their diet. A physician or health care provider can recommend the correct amount, depending on age and medical conditions.

3. Stop smoking and vaping and reduce alcohol intake.

Healthy Beginnings

Bone health starts in childhood. Children build the majority of their bone density between the ages of 9 and 14 and reach peak bone mass in adulthood around age 30. Parents and caregivers can encourage children to begin healthy practices to grow strong bones before their tween years.

Children can:

  • Engage in 30 minutes of physical activity each day
  • Eat calcium-rich foods
  • Take a vitamin D supplement
  • Avoid smoking and vaping
  • Reduce the intake of sugary drinks

Tools to Determine Bone Health

A bone density test (DXA scan) is a non-invasive X-ray that allows health care professionals to determine the density of the bone. The scan helps doctors and other medical practitioners to diagnose osteoporosis, manage bone loss and prevent fractures.

Sources: American Bone Health, Amgen, National Institutes of Health, Pinellas County and Symphony Health Solutions

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© Copyright 2020 | American Bone Health

What to know about bone health
and fracture prevention during COVID-19

  • Remove fall dangers in your home.
  • Stay physically active, and at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Eat for proper nutrition, and take a supplement if needed to get enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Stick with your osteoporosis medicines and ask your doctor for extra if you’re unable to go to the pharmacy.
  • If you are due for Reclast, there is little concern about delaying for a few weeks or months.
  • If you take Prolia or Evenity injections, don’t miss your appointment.  Some facilities offer “drive-through” injections. Check with your doctor.
  • Bone density testing can be postponed, if necessary.
  • Speak with your doctor about the possibility of telephone and video visits.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page with steps you can take to reduce your risk of catching the virus if you have a chronic illness.

Be well. We are here for you if you have any questions.