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Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder that compromises bone strength and increases risk of a fracture. It often goes undetected until a fracture occurs.

• More than 10 million Americans have it and more than 35 million have low bone density; the number is expected to surpass 60 million in the next decade.

The human toll

• The initial medical cost of breaking a hip generally runs higher than $25,000; rehab often costs more than $81,000.

• Nearly one in four people who break a hip will die within one year and another 25 percent will require long-term nursing home care. Fewer than 10 percent of people will return to full activities.

Prevention

• More than 150 minutes each week of exercise, as well as a proper diet and bone evaluation treatment, are important steps toward preventing fractures.

• Vitamin D3 is important to bone strength: At least 1,000 to 2,000 IU are needed through sun exposure, diet or supplements.

• Calcium also is important: Women age 50 and younger and men age 70 and younger need 1,000 mg; 1,200 mg daily is recommended for those above those age thresholds.

Other resources

The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library recommends the following:

“Exercise and wellness for older adults,” Kay A. Van Norman

“Senior Shape-up,” Carley McBride

“Exercise for older adults,” Cedric X. Bryant

“Reach for fitness,” Richard Simmons

“Fitness for the handicapped,” James V. Sullivan

“Older & Wiser Workout for Active Older Adults,” (DVD), Sue Grant

On the Web, visit arthritis.org, usp.org and nof.org

Sources: National Osteoporosis Foundation, UBMD Orthopaedics.