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Bone density and fracture risk

B E Christopher Nordin, Richard L Prince and Graeme R R Tucker
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (1): 7-8.
Published online: 7 July 2008

Determining risk is the first step in deciding on appropriate management

Osteoporosis, most simply and elegantly defined as “too little bone in the bone”, is generally the result of progressive bone loss which, for all practical purposes, starts at menopause in women and at about the age of 50 years in men. Because women have a lower bone organ density than men and then lose bone more rapidly,1 and also because women live longer, osteoporotic fractures, particularly at the hip, affect more women than men in Western countries — there are 20 000 hip fractures per year in Australia, with women outnumbering men by a ratio of two to one. The immediate cost of osteoporosis in Australia has been estimated at nearly $2 billion per year, with a further $5–6 billion in indirect costs.2

  • B E Christopher Nordin1,2,3
  • Richard L Prince4,5
  • Graeme R R Tucker6

  • 1 Endocrine and Metabolic Unit, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, SA.
  • 2 Division of Clinical Biochemistry, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, SA.
  • 3 University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA.
  • 4 Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, WA.
  • 5 University of Western Australia, Perth, WA.
  • 6 Department of Health, Government of South Australia, Adelaide, SA.


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