Meryl LeBoff, MD, Director of Skeletal Health, Osteoporosis Center, and Bone Density Unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), discusses osteoporosis risks, steps for preventing fractures, improving bone health, and treatment options.
Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones and increases the risk of fractures. There are several mechanisms that contribute to the development of osteoporosis, including an imbalance in the amount of bone that’s broken down, compared to that which is built up. These factors contribute to the fragility of the bone and of fractures.
There are two million fractures each year in the United States. And there are, overall, 54 million Americans that have an increased risk of fracture or have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is an extremely common disease. One out of two women and one out of four men, 50 years and older, will develop an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime.
The Brigham Fracture Intervention Team Initiative or BFIT is a program that endocrinologists, in conjunction with orthopedic surgeons, have worked together, so they can evaluate patients who come in with hip fractures and look for secondary causes of osteoporosis. Physician’s can then treat the underlying Vitamin D deficiency and the osteoporosis, to reduce the risk of a subsequent fracture over time.
Skeletal Health and Osteoporosis Center in the Endocrinology Diabetes and Hypertension Division at BWH, provides a comprehensive program to evaluate the presence of osteoporosis or low bone mass. Endocrinologists and clinicians are trained in identifying patients who have secondary causes of osteoporosis, and who benefit from treatment to prevent further fractures or the occurrence of a fracture.
Learn more about osteoporosis treatment.
Read the Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Osteoporosis video transcript