(HealthDay News) – Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become brittle, fragile and break easily. Fractures from osteoporosis typically occur in the hip, spine or wrist. The condition affects mostly women over age 50, but can also affect men.
There are rarely obvious symptoms associated with osteoporosis, but tests can be done to check for bone mass and density. Osteoporosis is usually diagnosed when a weakened bone breaks from a fall or injury.
Prevention should begin early -- even as young as childhood, the National Osteoporosis Foundation says. Diets rich in calcium and vitamin D can help strengthen bones. Getting plenty of exercise and avoiding smoking and alcohol also are important in preserving bone health.
Last reviewed: 05/16/2006 Last updated: 05/16/2006