Osteoporosis: Getting Screened at Any Age Matters

  • May 16, 2019
  • |Quartz
|
This is a blog post. The information may not be up-to-date. If you have questions, please contact Customer Service.
shutterstock_634413821-EDIT
May is National Osteoporosis Month to raise awareness to how important your bone health is to your quality of life, no matter your age.

Did you know that our bodies have more than 200 bones? That’s why bone health is so important. They hold us up, help us move around and protect all of our important organs. By age 30, your bone density reaches its peak and stays stable until about age 50. Depending on your family’s genes or lifestyle, you could develop osteoporosis as early as a teenager. There are usually no symptoms until you break a bone. This is why knowing when to get a bone density test is key to preventing osteoporosis and fractures.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that happens when the body loses too much bone mass, makes too little bone, or both. It weakens the bones and they may break or fracture from a fall or, in some more advanced cases, from something as minor as sneezing.

Osteoporosis-Blog 

What causes osteoporosis?

Did you know approximately 70% of a person's bone mass is inherited from their family? There are many reasons you could develop osteoporosis. Besides a family history of bone loss, osteoporosis may be due to a poor diet, an inactive lifestyle, certain illnesses or medications, anorexia or hormones, as well as a lack of calcium during childhood or the teenage years. Calcium is needed to make our blood clot and it makes our heart, muscles and nerves work correctly. Not getting enough calcium significantly increases your chances of developing osteoporosis and broken bones later in life.

When is the right time to get screened?

Osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging. It’s a disease that is treatable and even preventable if caught early. For women, bone loss often begins at menopause and you can lose up to 5% of their bone mass every year for six years. At age 65, it’s recommended women have a bone density test.

For men, the guideline is to get tested at age 70, unless you have other risk factors, in which case, it’s recommended at age 50. Men begin to lose bone density at age 50.

Bone Density Testing

When Bone Loss Starts

Age to Get Tested

Women

At menopause

65

Men

Age 50

70

 

What exactly is a bone density test?

A bone density or bone mass test is simple test and usually takes less than 10 minutes. You get a low-dose X-ray of your hips and spine. The volume of the beam from the X-ray that is detected through your bones is the amount of calcium you have in your bones, which indicates your bone density.

Fast Facts –

  • 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 and 1 in 5 men will experience osteoporotic fractures in their lifetime.
  • Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million U.S. women and men age 50 and older.

Osteoporosis Education and Support

To find out more about your plan’s benefits regarding osteoporosis screening and treatment, call Quartz Customer Service at (800) 362-3310.

For more information about osteoporosis, explore these resources –

Comments

Load more comments
Thank you for the comment! Your comment must be approved first

Sign up to receive our most recent blog posts!