Recognition of Risk Factors

  • Reiner Bartl
  • Bertha Frisch


Until recently, the diagnosis of osteoporosis was made only when the patient presented with painful fractures. Today, with a greater consciousness of health and healthy living we realise that recognition and avoidance of risk factors can prevent many chronic illnesses. A 50-year-old-postmenopausal woman who goes to her physician for a yearly “checkup” expects to have her blood pressure taken, her cholesterol measured, and a mammography performed — that is good medical practice. Likewise, she should ask for a bone mineral density measurement to investigate her risk for developing osteoporosis. Research even suggests that low bone mass density is a better predictor of fracture risk than increased cholesterol is of having a heart attack and high blood pressure of having a stroke. We are now aware of many genetic and acquired factors which are responsible for and/or contribute to the development of osteoporoses. Furthermore, a low bone mineral density is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer: stimulating effects of oestrogen on both trabecular bone and mammary cells maybe responsible for this correlation. Another study has shown that bone density changes might be related to the progression of atherosclerosis, or vice versa, in hemodialysis patients.


Bone Mineral Density Bone Mass Vertebral Fracture Anorexia Nervosa Osteogenesis Imperfecta 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reiner Bartl
    • 1
  • Bertha Frisch
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine III, Bavarian Center of OsteoporosisUniversity of MunichGermany
  2. 2.Departments of Pathology and Hematology, Sourasky Medical CenterUniversity of Tel AvivIsrael

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