The Structural System
Lesson 14, Page 8 of 16

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis.


Osteoporosis, (not to be confused with osteoarthritis), is a condition of the bones rather than the joints. In the preceding discussion on the bones we saw that the calcium in the diet is necessary to keep the calcium in the bones. When there is insufficient calcium in the diet the bones will provide the body with an emergency supply. If the body continues to break down more bone than it replaces the bones will eventually become weak and break more easily. This can lead to a crippling disease known as osteoporosis. (We will discuss calcium in a later section of this lesson when we discuss nutrition for the bones.)

Approximately 25 million American women have osteoporosis and one-third to one-half of all post-menopausal women will get the disease. But it doesn't just effect women. Five million American men also suffer from osteoporosis.

Women suffer from osteoporosis more than men, but men are by no means immune to the disease!

It is estimated that one-fifth to one-third of all hip fractures due to osteoporosis occur in men. In fact, one out of every two women and one out of every eight men over age 50 will have a fracture due to osteoporosis sometime during their lifetime. Before the age of 90, 6% of all men will have a hip fracture due to osteoporosis. Out of the 80,000 men who suffer a hip fracture each year, one-third will die within the year.

The preventable risk factors for osteoporosis in women and men are:

In summary, osteoporosis is not a natural part of aging. It is a preventable disease. To help prevent osteoporosis both men and women should: True or False: Whether or not we get osteoporosis is determined by our genes and there is little that we can do to alter it.


(Select the best answer and click on the "Continue" button.)