What Is Osteoporosis?

  • Angelo A. Licata
  • Susan E. Williams


The term “osteoporosis” has many meanings. Most clinicians tend to think that osteoporosis is a deficiency of bone mineral as reflected by a low bone density test or T-score. A more exacting definition, however, is that it is a disease which increases the risk for fragility fracture due to micro-architectural changes in bone. The challenge with the first definition is that osteoporosis can be present despite normal or near-normal bone density tests. The challenge with the second definition is that it requires more clinical input and places the burden of diagnosis on the clinician and not the DXA results.


Bone Mineral Density Fracture Risk Bone Density Fragility Fracture Primary Osteoporosis 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelo A. Licata
    • 1
  • Susan E. Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Endocrinology-MetabolismCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Endocrinology, Diabetes and MetabolismThe Cleveland Clinic FoundationClevelandUSA

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