May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. In conjunction with the observance, here are some interesting facts to consider and understand:

National Osteoporosis Month

  1. Bone is living, growing tissue that is both flexible and strong. 
  2. Throughout life, you are constantly losing old bone and forming new bone. 
  3. Osteoporosis happens when you lose too much bone, make too little of it or both. 
  4. Bone loss usually speeds up at midlife in both men and women. 
  5. Osteoporosis and the broken bones it causes can be prevented. 
  6. About half of all women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis. 
  7. Some medicines and some diseases can cause bone loss. 
  8. Diseases more common in African American women, such as sickle cell anemia and lupus, can lead to osteoporosis. 
  9. About 20 percent of Asian American women age 50 and older have osteoporosis. 
  10. By age 80, Caucasian women lose about one-third of their hip bone density. 
  11. Broken hips among Latinas in the U.S. appear to be on the rise. 
  12. If your mother or father broke bones as an adult, you may be at risk for osteoporosis. 
  13. Women lose up to 20 percent of their bone density in the five-to-seven years after menopause. 
  14. Today approximately 9 million people in the U.S. have osteoporosis. 
  15. About 1.5 million men and 7.5 million women have osteoporosis. 
  16. People with osteoporosis cannot feel their bones getting weaker, and many people do not know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone. 
  17. People with osteoporosis most often break a bone in the hip, spine or wrist. 
  18. Bones break more easily in people with osteoporosis, sometimes from simple actions such as sneezing, hugging or bumping into furniture. 
  19. A broken bone in the spine can cause sharp back pain or no pain at all. 
  20. Find out if you have osteoporosis before you break a bone. Ask your healthcare provider when you should have a bone density test. 
  21. You need to get enough calcium and vitamin D every day to keep your bones healthy. 
  22. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables benefits your bones and overall health. 
  23. African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos and Native Americans are more likely to be lactose intolerant than Caucasians, making it difficult to get enough calcium from foods. 
  24. You should exercise at least 2½ hours every week for strong bones. 
  25. You are never too young or too old to protect your bones. Now is the time to take action!

Part of making a medical evaluation for low bone strength is the DEXA bone densitometry exam. A bone density test is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. This test helps to estimate the density of your bones and your chance of breaking a bone. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends a bone density test of the hip and spine by a central DEXA machine to diagnose osteoporosis. 

Capitol Imaging Services performs DEXA exams at multiple locations.

To learn more about osteoporosis, visit