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How Well Do You Know Osteoporosis?

Few people are aware of the true impact of osteoporosis, and yet many will suffer from it at some point in their lives. Related to a decline in bone mass density that can result in fractures, the condition currently affects about two million Canadians. It’s chronic, it’s hard to detect, and its effects can be catastrophic: 28 per cent of women and 37 per cent of men will die within a year of suffering an osteoporotic hip fracture.

So how can you avoid this serious condition and continue to live happily and healthily? The first step is to talk to your doctor about taking a 10-year risk assessment. But before you do that, take this quiz. It’ll help you learn a little more about osteoporosis and dispel some of the misconceptions about the disease.

True or False: Bone loss is a natural part of aging.

True. Women generally experience peak bone mass by the age of 20, while men attain it by 25. Both groups begin to lose their bone mass in their thirties. If left unchecked, their bones can wear away, leaving them vulnerable to osteoporotic fractures and breaks.

True or False: Men are vulnerable to osteoporosis.

True. While men are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis, at least one-in-five will suffer a bone break due to the condition.

True or False: There’s no link between height loss or osteoporosis.

False. If a patient suffers a sudden height loss of more than two centimeters, it may indicate a spine fracture due to osteoporosis. People over 50 should be mindful of their height and speak to their healthcare professional if they notice any drastic changes.

True or False: Family history is irrelevant in an osteoporosis risk assessment.

False. Osteoporosis among first-degree relatives, particularly parental hip fractures, can be a key indicator in determining your risk.

True or False: Other medications can have a negative effect on your bone health.

True. The side effects of certain drugs may impact bone health. Be sure to mention your current medications when discussing osteoporosis with your doctor.

After reading this article, are you more likely to speak to your doctor about getting a 10-year fracture risk assessment?