Osteoporosis -related to various factors including menopause and aging- is the most common chronic metabolic bone disease, which is characterized by increased bone fragility. Although it is seen in all age groups, gender, and races, it is more common in Caucasians (white race), older people, and women. With an aging population and longer life span, osteoporosis is increasingly becoming a global epidemic. Currently, it has been estimated that more than 200 million people are suffering from osteoporosis. According to recent statistics from the International Osteoporosis Foundation, worldwide, 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 years and 1 in 5 men will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime. Every fracture is a sign of another impending one. Osteoporosis has no clinical manifestations until there is a fracture. Fractures cause important morbidity; in men, in particular, they can cause mortality. Moreover, osteoporosis results in a decreased quality of life, increased disability-adjusted life span, and big financial burden to health insurance systems of countries that are responsible for the care of such patients. With an early diagnosis of this disease before fractures occur and by assessing the bone mineral density and with early treatment, osteoporosis can be prevented. Therefore, increasing awareness among doctors, which, in turn, facilitates increase awareness of the normal populace, will be effective in preventing this epidemic.
Keywords: Osteoporosis; bone mineral density; fracture risk; osteoporosis management.