Those with osteoporosis mostly poor women

July 21, 2011 at 11:12 AM
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OTTAWA, July 21 (UPI) -- People with osteoporosis in Canada are more likely to be women, lower-income, drink alcohol, have high nutritional risk and low body mass index, officials say.

A report by Statistics Canada, using data from the 2009 Canadian Community Health Survey: Healthy Aging, says 19.2 percent of women and 3.4 percent of men aged 50 or older reported that they had been diagnosed with osteoporosis by a health professional.

However, once people reach age 71 or older, the percentages were much higher -- 31.1 percent of women and 6.4 percent of men -- figures were unchanged from 2004.

Physicians often recommend increased consumption of calcium and vitamin D for people diagnosed with osteoporosis and the data shows those with osteoporosis were more likely to take supplements, the report says.

In 2004, 28 percent of men and 48 percent of women age 50 or older took calcium supplements, but for those with diagnosed with osteoporosis, 36 percent of men and 59 percent of women took calcium supplements.

In addition, 27 percent of men and 44 percent of women age 50 or older reported taking vitamin D supplements but for those with osteoporosis, those taking vitamin D were 38 percent for men and 57 percent for women.

Osteoporosis is characterized by a loss of bone mass, increased bone fragility and risk of fracture and accounts for most fractures in people 60 and older.

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