Osteomalacia develops most commonly due to lack of getting enough vitamin D (often from not getting enough sunlight), or less frequently, due to a digestive or kidney disorder. These disorders can interfere with the body's ability to absorb vitamins. There are also rare genetic conditions that can cause osteomalacia.
The prevalence of osteomalacia in the Japanese female population aged 50-79 years has been estimated to be about 35% at the spine and 9.5% at the hip New hip fractures increased 1.7-fold during 1987-1997 The total number of hip fractures is forecast to be 153,000 per year in 2010 and 238,000 in 2030. Patients who have osteomalacia can take vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate supplements, depending on the individual case. For instance, people with intestinal malabsorption (the intestines cannot absorb nutrients or vitamins properly) may need to take larger quantities of vitamin D and calcium.