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Osteoporosis – Only a disease of the elderly?

What is osteoporosis?
Carmen Lobitz
Titelbild zum englischen Fachbeitrag über „Osteoporosis“
© Kateryna_Kon/adobe.stock.com
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Bone is a living tissue. It is persistently broken down and renewed. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the loss of old bone. This misbalance causes a reduction of bone mass and a deterioration of the bone tissue. The progressive disease affects the whole skeletal system not just individual bones.

Bones become weak and brittle. Bones become so brittle that mundane events like falling down or even coughing can cause fractures. Osteoporosis especially increases the risk of fractures in the hips, wrists or spine. Osteoporosis affects men and women, irrespective of their ethnic origins. Currently, over six million Germans suffer from osteoporosis. Mostly females are affected (post menopause). However, up to 25% of all cases are men. With increasing age, the risk of osteoporosis mounts due to loss of minerals. This loss makes the bones more fragile. However, we will learn below that osteoporosis is not at all restricted to older people.

There are both a primary and a secondary form of osteoporosis. The primary form does not have another disease as its cause. Why some people get…

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