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Osteoporosis is the deterioration of bone structure characterized by low bone mass. 1 in 10 Canadian over the age of 40 has osteoporosis yet this should not be a normal part of aging. People with osteoporosis will have an increased risk of breaking a bone. Breaking a bone in elderly can be highly detrimental as it can significantly impact their mobility and independence. Hence, it is important for us to know what we can do to prevent or manage osteoporosis.

Risk factors for osteoporosis and fracture include:

- Age > 65

- High alcohol intake

- Current smoker

- Low body weight (<132 lb or 60 kg)

- High-risk medication use – glucocorticoids and other bone depleting medications

- Certain disease or genetic disorders associated with bone loss

Prevention/ Management:

1. Screen your bone mass density

Osteoporosis is measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan, and it is recommended for the following groups to have it checked every 1-2 years:

- > 65 years old

- Postmenopausal women and men 50-64 with risk factors

- Younger women and men with a disease or condition associated with bone loss

2. Exercise

- Resistance training

- Exercises to enhance stability

- Exercise on balance ex. Tai Chi

3. Supplementation (in conjunction with exercise)

- Vitamin D and Calcium

o Calcium needs Vitamin D in order to get absorbed so make sure you have an adequate amount of both nutrients

o These sources can be obtained in food like fish, dairy products, or eggs, and by sunlight

4. Posture

- Have a proper posture when lifting heavy items

- Keep your back straight and avoid bending forward

5. Environment

- Establish a safe environment and remove items that can trip you to fall easily ex. Rugs

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