The Clinical Relevance of Bone Mass Measurements
Osteoporosis can be defined as a reduction in the amount of bone mass per unit volume throughout the skeleton. It is associated with an increased susceptibility to fracture and this may occur without trauma. Osteoporosis is a disease which primarily affects the elderly, and women are more often affected than men. Bone loss is a universal phenomenon which occurs with aging, however, in women there is thought to be an acceleration in the rate of bone loss following the menopause [1, 2]. Why this should occur is not fully understood, but it is most likely due to the withdrawal of a protective effect of oestrogen against bone resorption [3, 4]. There is no doubt that osteoporosis is a massive health care problem associated with high morbidity and significant mortality. Indeed, it has been described as the commonest of all diseases  and it has been estimated that in the United States between 15 to 20 million people are affected. Osteoporosis is the underlying cause of about 1.3 million new fractures per year in those over the age of 45 . As the life expectancy of the population increases, the prevalence of osteoporosis will inevitably continue to rise.
KeywordsBone Loss Bone Mass Anorexia Nervosa Bone Mineral Content Bone Mass Measurement
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