Aging America Not Ready for Bone Fracture Predictions

The number of osteoporotic fractures (serious bone fractures from low bone density) is expected to double in the next 25 years in the U.S.

cariing for elders

Two million fractures per year are attributed to osteoporosis, and with an increasing elderly population, this number is expected to double by 2040.

According to the Administration on Aging, the population of those age 65 years or older was 39.6 million in 2009. By 2030, this figure is estimated to reach 72.1 million – that’s almost double.

Despite these numbers studies show that only 20% of patients with osteoporosis are receiving proper treatment and prevention measures.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), about 52 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone mass (osteopenia), which places them at increased risk for osteoporosis.

Twenty-five years may seem like a long way off, but now’s the time to get serious about your bone health. Most people don’t take a preventative approach to their bones – they only get serious when they find out they have a problem.  But bone health reaches its peak at age 30. So it’s far too late for most people.

After 30 bone health declines slowly until age 50 when rapid deterioration sets in for most women. Men lag about 10 years behind women, but poor bone health catches up with them too with back and joint problems, loosening of teeth and other consequences of soft bone. By age 50 most women and many men are fighting a battle they should have started much earlier.

A small increase in bone health at a younger age can make huge difference as older adults. Since Americans are living longer, it’s even more important to begin to take care of your bones today.

Adults must also help educate their older loved ones about the importance of righting their nutrition, because as we get older, the risk of a hip fracture doubles roughly every 5 years.

Having a fragility fracture significantly increases mortality risk (by upwards of 80% for women and 105% for men). Across the board, morbidity and mortality following hip fracture is much greater in men than in women. A second fracture can be absolutely devastating.

There are almost two times as many hip fractures as there are new cases of breast cancer diagnosed each year.

Integrative therapies have not only been shown to improve outcomes, but also lower health care costs. Everyone knows about calcium and vitamin D, but there are seven other nutrients* that are vital for bones and deficient in our diets. Key among them is silicon, which is significantly involved in the earliest stages of collagen production and bone formation, but is very rare in diets.

With these alarming fracture predictions, now is the time for adults to plan a bone health program that secures an enjoyable life in older age.

*Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Leave a Reply