Key Takeaways

  • One out of five falls among older adults causes serious injury such as a broken bone.

  • It's never too late to identify and treat osteoporosis or prevent falls to avoid broken bones.

  • Download this resource to help older adults take action in preventing osteoporosis and falls.

As we grow older, diminished bone density can lead to osteoporosis—a potentially debilitating disease that increases the risk of fractures. This chronic condition can cause pain and disability and make it challenging for older adults to perform everyday activities. Osteoporosis shouldn’t be confused with osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease characterized by pain and inflammation.

Osteoporosis is often called a “silent” disease that produces no symptoms. It may progress for many years undetected, until a broken bone, or fracture occurs. These fractures can compromise an individual’s ability to walk, cause deformities and loss of height, and dramatically lower quality of life. Osteoporosis may even indirectly lead to death, since fractures and related complications can cause an older person’s health to quickly deteriorate.

Who is impacted the most by osteoporosis? 

Osteoporosis affects about 54 million people in the U.S. Although this disease happens in both men and women, women are four times more likely to develop it than men. Osteoporosis risk climbs with age; many women begin to develop it following menopause.  

Non-Hispanic white women and Asian women are most likely to get osteoporosis. Black and Hispanic women are less likely to develop this disease, but they are still at significant risk.

How can we educate others about the risks of osteoporosis?

Learn how to take action to prevent osteoporosis, falls, and broken bones. Download and share this two-page handout highlighting the link between fall-related injuries and osteoporosis and how to take  steps to prevent broken bones and falls.