Headline: “By 2020, One In Two Americans Over Age 50 Will Be At Risk For Fractures From Osteoporosis Or Low Bone Mass.”
Hard to believe, but back in 2004, the Surgeon General of the United States issued the first-ever report on the nation’s bone health. U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S., warned that by the year 2020, half of all American citizens older than 50 would be at risk for fractures from osteoporosis and low bone mass if immediate action was not taken by those at risk, and by doctors, health systems, and policymakers. This report, “Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General,” said that:
- 10 million Americans over the age of 50 had osteoporosis, the most common bone disease,
- while another 34 million were at risk for developing it,
- and that each year, roughly 1.5 million people suffered a bone fracture related to osteoporosis.
According to the report, osteoporosis and other bone diseases, such as Paget’s disease and osteogenesis imperfecta, can lead to a downward spiral in physical health and quality of life, including losing the ability to walk, stand up, or dress, and can lead to premature death.