May is National Osteoporosis Month in the U.S. and the time is right for all Americans to take a proactive posture to help protect their bones.
In the U.S., more than two million broken bones are caused by osteoporosis each year. Studies show that half of all women over the age of 50 and a quarter of men will break a bone in their lifetime due to this chronic, debilitating disease. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), 54 million Americans in this age group either already have or are at risk of osteoporosis. Another staggering, under-reported fact is that osteoporosis-related bone fractures are responsible for more hospitalizations than heart attacks, strokes or breast cancer. What many do not know is that osteoporosis is a largely preventable disease.
Kathleen Morgan, interim chair and professor in the Department of Family and Community Health Sciences at Rutgers, represents New Jersey on the Ambassadors Leadership Council of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Morgan, who has osteoporosis, is a strong advocate for osteoporosis prevention, treatment and management. She wants to remind everyone that osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging.