Implications of Osteoporotic Fractures in the Elderly

  • R. M. Francis
  • A. Sutcliffe
Conference paper


Osteoporosis is characterised by a reduction in the amount of bone in the skeleton and an increased risk of fracture. Bone is lost with advancing age in both sexes, with women losing 35%–50% of trabecular and 25%–30% of cortical bone, whereas men lose 15%–45% and 5%–15% respectively [1,2]. As the maximum load a bone can withstand without fracture is closely related to its mineral content, this reduction in bone mass with age is associated with an increased risk of fracture. The bone mass at any age and therefore the risk of fracture is determined by the peak bone mass, the age at which bone loss starts and the rate at which it progresses [1,2]. Peak bone mass is influenced by a number of factors including race, sex, heredity, hormonal factors, exercise and diet. The major causes of bone loss with advancing age include the menopause, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, low body weight, reduction in physical activity and the declining efficiency of calcium absorption [1,2].


Bone Mass Vertebral Fracture Osteoporotic Fracture Femoral Neck Fracture Pelvic Fracture 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Francis
  • A. Sutcliffe

There are no affiliations available

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