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Bone Health Gets No Respect

April 24, 2020 @ 5:32 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

As testing increases, we are finding many individuals have been infected with Covid-19.  Many have no symptoms.  Many do not know that they have it.  The overall death rate when counting everyone infected is looking like less than 1%.

The same is true regarding Clinical Osteoporosis.  Many do not know that they have it.  There are no symptoms except a fracture.  Up to 80% of those with thoracic vertebral fractures do not know they have had one.  Up to 20% of those with a recognized vertebral fracture die within 6 months from complications of their osteoporosis.

A hip fracture is hard to miss.  Hip fracture can be the first symptom of severe clinical osteoporosis.  Like Covid-19, hip fracture (Clinical Osteoporosis) is most dangerous in those who are older and/or have pre-existing chronic diseases (co-morbidities).

Over 20% of older men who fracture a hip die of complications within 6 months and many die within weeks.  This is comparable to older men with Covid-19 who require a ventilator.  Yet osteoporosis gets no respect.  More than half the time osteoporosis is not even listed as a contributing factor.  And rarely is the hip fracture listed as the cause of death.

We consider Covid-19 to be the cause of death even if we only suspect it.  Perhaps it is time to consider a treatable chronic disease like osteoporosis in the same way.

Jay Ginther, MD

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