Osteoporosis is a disease where decreased bone strength increases the risk of a broken bone. It is the most common reason for a broken bone among people who are old.Bones that commonly break include the back bones, the bones of the forearm, and the hip.Until a broken bone occurs there are typically no symptoms. Bones may weaken to such a degree that a break may occur with minor stress or spontaneously. Chronic pain and a decreased ability to carry out normal activities may occur following a broken bone.
Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase of bone fragility, with consequent fractures not related to a significant trauma. The prevalence of osteoporosis rises markedly with age and in women this rises from 2% at 50 years to more than 25% at 80 years. It is estimated that in Italy 3,5 million of women and 1 million of men suffer from osteoporosis, with more than 90.000/year hip fractures in the population older than 50 years. Risk of fracture is also increased by factors such as lifestyle, drug treatments, family history, and other conditions that cause secondary osteoporosis.