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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Biochemical Markers of Osteoporosis. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Epidemiology (cont'd)

Statistical data from the International Osteoporosis Foundation states Osteoporosis affects an estimated 75 million people in Europe, USA and Japan. Ten million individuals already have osteoporosis, and 14 million more have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for this disease. Osteoporosis is responsible for more than 1.5 million fractures annually, among them more than half a million vertebral fractures, 300,000 hip fractures, 200,000 wrist fractures, and 300,000 fractures of other sites. Approximately 37,500 people die each year after complications related to an osteoporotic fracture.

The overall prevalence of osteoporotic fractures rises dramatically in menopausal women. Bone loss is more abrupt for the first decade after the onset of menopause, followed by more gradual loss thereafter. With increasing age, fracture incidence increases. The frequency of hip fractures increases exponentially with age, particularly after age 70, and is more commonly seen in white women.