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Osteoporosis is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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Emergency Central

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  • Overall decrease in skeletal mass, generally diffuse
  • Trabecular bone (especially vertebrae and femur) affected more commonly and earlier
  • Disease begins in adolescence, but fractures do not usually manifest until age ≥50
  • Females affected much more commonly than males, especially after menopause


  • Overall increase in resorption over formation of new bone
  • Advanced age is the most important risk factor
  • Inadequate dietary calcium an important factor, especially early in life
  • Sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor (weight bearing on bone favors new bone formation)
  • Decrease in estrogen with menopause key factor in women
  • Other risk factors include long-term steroid use, alcoholism, methotrexate, tobacco use, low body weight
  • Familial or hereditary factor may coexist

Pediatric Considerations
Although disease appears to start in adolescence, pediatric patients are asymptomatic.

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Osteoporosis." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307489/all/Osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307489/all/Osteoporosis. Accessed April 25, 2019.
Osteoporosis. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307489/all/Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 25]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307489/all/Osteoporosis.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Osteoporosis ID - 307489 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307489/all/Osteoporosis PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -