Clinical Review

2017 Update on bone health

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Postmenopausal bone loss places a large disease burden on older women. In this article: latest ACP treatment guidelines, news on fracture risk after stopping hormone therapy, and insights on a popular fracture prediction tool.



Bone health remains one of the most important health care concerns in the United States today. In 2004, the Surgeon General released a report on bone health and osteoporosis. According to the report’s introduction:

This first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on bone health and osteoporosis illustrates the large burden that bone disease places on our Nation and its citizens. Like other chronic diseases that disproportionately affect the elderly, the prevalence of bone disease and fractures is projected to increase markedly as the population ages. If these predictions come true, bone disease and fractures will have a tremendous negative impact on the future well-being of Americans. But as this report makes clear, they need not come true: by working together we can change the picture of aging in America. Osteoporosis and fractures…no longer should be thought of as an inevitable part of growing old. By focusing on prevention and lifestyle changes, including physical activity and nutrition, as well as early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, Americans can avoid much of the damaging impact of bone disease.1

Related article:
2016 Update on bone health

Although men also experience osteoporosis as they age, in women the rapid loss of bone at menopause makes their disease burden much greater. As women’s health care providers, we stand at the front line for preventing, diagnosing, and treating osteoporosis to reduce the impact of this disease. In this Update I focus on important information that has emerged in the past year.

Read about new ACP guidelines to assess fracture risk


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