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.
In The Netherlands between 1972 and 1987 the age-adjusted incidence of hip fractures rose linearly from 479/100,000 to 669/100,000 per year in women and from 198/100,000 to 308/100,000 in men aged 65 years and over using the Dutch medical registry . European data on hip fracture shows a clear north-south gradient with the highest hip fractures occurring in Scandinavian countries and the lowest in Spain, and one of the reasons may be that colder winter induces more falls in an elderly population. Treatment most commonly involves lifestyle changes and medications and aims to maximise bone density and reduce the risk of bone fracture