Osteoporosis Key Findings

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease and is characterized by weakening of bone tissue, bone structure, and strength, and may lead to increased risk of fractures. Low bone mass increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. In the United States in 2010, an estimated 10.2 million people aged 50 and over had osteoporosis and about 43.3 million more people had low bone mass. A report from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2017-2018 was recently published on the CDC website and included these key findings:

  • In 2017-2018, the age-adjusted prevalence of osteoporosis at either the femur neck or lumbar spine or both among adults aged 50 and over was 12.6% and was higher among women (19.6%) compared with men (4.4%).
  • The prevalence of low bone mass, a precursor of osteoporosis, at either the femur neck or lumbar spine or both among adults aged 50 and over was 43.1% and was higher among women (51.5%) compared with men (33.5%).
  • Osteoporosis prevalence increased from 2007-2008 through 2017-2018 among women but not men.
  • Low bone mass prevalence did not change between 2007-2008 and 2017-2018 for either men or women.

Monitoring the prevalence of osteoporosis and low bone mass may inform public health programs that focus on reducing or preventing osteoporosis and its consequences. Health People 2020 has a goal of 53% or less for the prevalence of osteoporosis at the femur neck for adults aged 50 and over. In the United States, the prevalence of osteoporosis among adults aged 50 and over at the femur neck only was 6.3% and has not met the 2020 goal.

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