n Obstetrics and Gynaecology Forum - Options in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis : review

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1027-9148



The scope of practise of the modern gynaecologist is forever expanding. Management of a woman presenting with menopause must include an assessment and planning of future bone health. Osteoporosis is defined as a systemic skeletal condition where bone strength has deteriorated to such an extent, that fracture can result when falling from own body height. Bone strength is determined by a combination of bone density and micro architectural integrity. The most common osteoporosis related fractures are fractures of the vertebrae. Major non-vertebral osteoporosis related fractures are fractures of the hip, wrist, pelvis, sacrum, ribs, sternum, clavicle and humerus. All these fractures are important in terms of disability and pain. Osteoporosis related fractures result in significant morbidity and increased mortality. Osteoporosis related fractures are common and will affect at least a third of women above the age of 50 years. Osteoporosis affects an estimated 75 million people in Europe, USA and Japan but in view of increased life expectancy, it is estimated to increase by 240% by 2050. It is estimated that more than 2 million osteoporosis related fractures occurred in the USA during 2005 at a cost of $19 billion. Hip fractures accounted for 72% of costs.

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