Every year, more Americans are diagnosed with osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to weaken and become more likely to break. You may not know that you have this “silent” disease until your bones are so weak that a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes your wrist to break or your hip to fracture. Learn the facts so you can protect your bones! Many people believe:
- Osteoporosis is a natural part of aging that only affects older women.
- Bone loss can’t be treated once it starts.
- The only risk of osteoporosis is broken bones from falls.
None of these myths are true. What’s true is:
- While 1 in 2 women over 50 will develop osteoporosis, 1 in 4 men will, too.
- It’s possible to make bones stronger.
- Around 25 % of people die within the first 6 to 12 months after a hip fracture.
Medicare can help you prevent or detect osteoporosis at an early stage when treatment works best. Talk to your doctor about getting a bone mass measurement—if you’re at risk, Medicare covers this test once every 24 months (more often if medically necessary) when your doctor or other qualified provider orders it.