Osteoporosis can sneak up on a person. Without a way to “check in” on your bones the way you can with other ailments and body parts, it’s possible that your bones can deteriorate over a number of years without any signs or warnings.
That’s because bones tend to weaken with age, increasing the risk of fractures. Women over 50 and men over 65 are more prone to broken bones from a disease called osteoporosis, which makes bones more porous, and consequently, weaker.
Osteoporosis causes over 80 percent of all broken bones in people over the age of 50. In fact, one-in-three hip fracture patients re-fracture within the year and one-in-two will suffer another fracture within five years. What’s more, bone breaks or fractures at an older age can actually be deadly. More than a quarter of women and a third of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the following year.
It’s hard to overstate just how fragile a person with osteoporosis can be. Bumping into something, bending over to pick up the groceries or even sneezing too hard can result in a fracture. Broken bones from osteoporosis tend to be in the hip, spine and wrist, but can also be in other parts of your body. And as you already know, these breaks can be life threatening.