Response to Prisca




Common Health Conditions and Implications for Women, Pt. 1

NRNP 6552

            The topic I chose for this discussion is Osteoporosis.


            Osteoporosis is a disease which is characterized by low bone mass, deterioration of bone tissue, and disruption of bone macroarchitecture (Sözen, Öz???k, & Ba?aran, 2017). It can lead to compromised bone strength and increased risk of fracture (Sözen, Öz???k, & Ba?aran, 2017). It is common in Caucasian women and older individuals. Osteoporosis is a risk factor for fracture, just as hypertension is for stroke (Sözen, Öz???k, & Ba?aran, 2017). Osteoporosis is a major US health problem, which affects more than 10 million adults (Kling, Clarke, Sandhu, 2014). Studies reveal that by 2025, cost and annual fracture incidents may rise to almost 50% with greater than 87% risk for those age 65 to 74 years (Kling, Clarke, Sandhu, 2014). Osteoporosis is classified into two groups: primary and secondary osteoporosis.

Primary osteoporosis is divided into two, which are:

  • Involutional osteoporosis type 1, also known as post-menopausal osteoporosis, which occurs as a result of deficiency in estrogen.  It usually affects the trabecular bone (Sözen, Öz???k, & Ba?aran, 2017).  
  • Involutional osteoporosis type 2, which is also known as senile osteoporosis, and it is related to bone mass lost due to injury of cortical and trabecular bones (Sözen, Öz???k, & Ba?aran, 2017).

Secondary osteoporosis, which occurs as a result of different diseases, medications, and life style changes (Sözen, Öz???k, & Ba?aran, 2017).


Common signs and symptoms

            The symptoms of osteoporosis depends on the bones involved (Huether, McCance, Brashers, & Rote, 2017). The most common symptoms are back pain, caused by a fracture or collapsed vertebrae; patient usually complains of loss of height which is a result of vertebral compression due to fractures; stooped posture, bone that breaks more easily than expected.


Recommended Diagnostic Test

  • Dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the current gold standard for detecting and monitoring osteoporosis (Huether, McCance, Brashers, & Rote, 2017). DXA measurement of hips are the best indicator of hip fracture risk.
  • Bone mineral density (BMD) which helps to estimate bone strength.
  • Vertebral compression assessment with a densitometer (Kling, Clarke, Sandhu, 2014).
  • Quantitative computerized tomography (QCT): the instrument measures bone density using computerized tomography. It is often used to measure density in the vertebrate and  part of the femur below the hip.

Common Treatment

The goal of treatment for osteoporosis is risk reduction and prevention of fractures.

  • Bisphosphonates such as Alendronates  are the first line treatment for osteoporosis. This medication works by inhibiting hydroxyapatite breakdown, thereby reducing bone reabsorbtion (Huether, McCance, Brashers, & Rote, 2017).
  • Selective steroid agents such as Raloxifene can also be prescribed (Huether, McCance, Brashers, & Rote, 2017).
  • Regular moderate weight bearing exercises can also help to slow the rate of bone loss. It can also reverse demineralization because mechanical stress of exercise stimulates bone formation (Huether, McCance, Brashers, & Rote, 2017).
  • Screening for osteoporosis will facilitate treatment before fracture occurs (Kling, Clarke, Sandhu, 2014). Most guidelines recommend dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) screening for women 65 years and older, but younger post-menopausal women and men age 50-69 years should undergo screening, only if they possess risk factors for osteoporosis (Kling, Clarke, Sandhu, 2014). Prevention of falls helps to prevent osteoporosis related to morbidity (Kling, Clarke, Sandhu, 2014).

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