Osteoporosis – Can It Happen To You? Self Test

Today, osteoporosis is a major public health threat for more than 28 million Americans, 80 percent of whom are women. It is estimated that in the United States, 10 million individuals already have the disease. Eighteen million more have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis and the fractures associated with it, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Known as “the silent thief,” osteoporosis progresses without symptoms or pain until bones start to break, generally at the hip, spine or wrist.

Osteoporosis is preventable if bone loss is detected early. The following test, administered by the National Osteoporosis Foundation, is to help you determine if you are at risk for developing the disease.


1. Do you have a small, thin frame, or are you Caucasian or Asian?

2. Has a female member of your immediate family broken a bone as an adult?

3. Are you a postmenopausal woman?

4. Have you had an early or surgically-induced menopause?

5. Have you been taking high doses of thyroid medication or high or prolonged does of cortisone-like drugs for asthma, arthritis or other diseases?

6. Is your diet low in dairy products and other sources of calcium?

7. Are you physically inactive?

8. Do you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol in excess?

*Reprinted with permission from the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Washington, DC, (202) 223-2226

The more times you answer “yes,” the greater your risk for developing osteoporosis. See your physician or contact the National Osteoporosis Foundation for more information.

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