Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone quality leading to bone fragility and increased risk of fracture. More than 10 million Americans above the age of 50 have osteoporosis. Women are two to three times as likely to be affected as men. Osteoporotic fractures lead to significant morbidity and excess mortality; of those experiencing a hip fracture, one out of five will die in the following year and less than one out of three will regain prefracture physical ability. The direct and indirect costs associated with all osteoporotic fractures in the United States exceed $20 billion dollars annually.


The term osteoporosis—Greek for porous bone—was first coined in the 1830s by French pathologist Georges Chretien Frederic Martin Lobstein in describing ...

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