“An estimated 50% of Caucasian women and 20% of Caucasian men older than 50 years will experience a fragility fracture in their lifetime.”1
Bone is a dynamic living tissue made up of minerals (such as calcium and phosphorus) that undergo continuous remodeling through repeated cycles of bone formation and resorption of bone to keep the skeleton strong.
“Through natural processes, aged and damaged bone cells are removed every day, and equal amounts of new mineral deposition are newly formed, resulting in the gradual restructuring of bone.” 2
The most common bone disease is osteoporosis, in which the bones break down faster than the bone can rebuild causing the bone to become more porous and brittle (reduced bone mineral density).
Osteoporosis is “characterized by low bone mass and microarchitecture deterioration, which increase bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture.”3
Risk Factors for Osteoporosis
The risk factors that accelerate the process of bone fragility (Osteoporosis) can be memorised in this simple mnemonic: A.C.C.E.S.S.
A = Alcohol use
C = Corticosteroid use
C = Calcium & Vitamin D low
E = Estrogen low
S = Smoking
S = Sedentary lifestyle
Bones cease growing in the early 20s, however it is crucial to have a healthy lifestyle to maintain bone mass. Be aware for the risk factors to prevent osteoporosis: avoid excessive alcohol, have adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, stop smoking, and add weight-bearing exercise in your lifestyle.
1. Melton III L, Cooper C (2001). Magnitude and impact of osteoporosis and fractures. In: Marcus R, Feldman D, Kelsey J, editors. Osteoporosis. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press; pp. 557–567.
2. Raggatt, L.J.; Partridge, N.C. (2010). Cellular and molecular mechanisms of bone remodeling. J. Biol. Chem; 285, 25103–25108.
3. Cummings SR, Melton LJ (2002). Epidemiology and outcomes of osteoporotic fractures. Lancet; 359(9319):1761-7.