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As people grow older, osteoporosis becomes increasingly more common and important. It is a condition that involves a reduction of bone mass and may cause bones to be susceptible to fractures. More than 1 million osteoporosis-related fractures occur in the U.S. each year. Most of these occur in post-menopausal women. However, loss of bone mass may be prevented with a diet rich in calcium, sufficient physical activity such as walking or other weight-bearing exercise, and not smoking. Osteoporosis may also be treated with appropriate medications.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition that involves a reduction in bone mass. Thus the bones may become more fragile and more likely to break. Osteoporosis-related fractures commonly occur in the hip, spine and wrist.

What is Medicare doing about Osteoporosis?

To develop appropriate awareness information for Medicare beneficiaries, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working with a number of partners, including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and the Texas Department of Health. This information will help inform beneficiaries about the disease, screening, and treatment of osteoporosis.

What are the symptoms of Osteoporosis?

Symptoms may include fractures, loss of height, postural changes, pain, difficulty/loss of mobility.

Who is at risk for osteoporosis?

Older postmenopausal women, individuals with low body weight, individuals who smoke , individual with certain disorders such as parathyroid and thyroid disease or on certain long-term medications such as steroids. Although the majority of cases occur in older Caucasian or Asian women, osteoporosis may also occur in men and African-American or Hispanic women.

For more information about what Medicare covers, look at our frequently asked questions.

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