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May 07
Katelyn Snider, U.S. Communications and Public Affairs
Disease Spotlight: 5 Things to Know About Osteoporosis

By the time you finish reading the title of this post, a fragility fracture due to osteoporosis has occurred. It is estimated that a fragility fracture occurs every 3 seconds— totaling nearly 9 million fractures annually, worldwide. In the U.S. alone, fragility fractures are responsible for approximately 500,000 hospitalizations, 800,000 emergency room visits, and 180,000 nursing home placements each year.

So what is osteoporosis? Our bones are made up of hard tissue that provide us with structure and support—allowing us to stand up tall and perform complex movements. Although our bone structures may seem to be unchanging, bone tissue is dynamic and constantly being remodeled, repaired, and replaced in response to applied stress. However sometimes, bone tissue decreases more quickly than it can be replaced, leading to a net loss in bone strength. This makes bones porous and fragile, greatly increasing the risk of a fragility fracture. This is osteoporosis. 

Here are 5 things to know about osteoporosis:

  1. 200 million people worldwide are affected by osteoporosis 
  2. It is often called a ‘silent disease’ because there are no symptoms or pain until a fracture occurs
  3. It is common: worldwide an estimated 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience a fragility fracture due to osteoporosis
  4. Osteoporosis in postmenopausal women is the most common form, as bone loss increases after menopause
  5. People at risk can work with their healthcare providers to determine whether they have osteoporosis and if they are at high risk for fracture. 

We know identifying and treating patients at risk of fragility fractures can reduce the long-term burden of osteoporosis. UCB remains committed to investing in the advancement of the scientific understanding of bone biology and to address the crisis in fragility fracture management through research and development. 

Learn more about osteoporosis and read UCB’s sclerosteosis story.