According to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly half of all US adults over 50 are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis because of low bone mass.
Researchers examined data from the "National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey." They found that between 2005 and 2008 nine percent of adults aged 50 and over had osteoporosis as defined by the World Health Organization. But 49 percent had low bone mass, which places them at an increased risk for the disease.
The prevalence was higher in women and increased with age, but diet and exercise can help decrease your risk as you get older.
"Calcium is the basic building block of bone, you have to continue your calcium along with your medication and adequate doses of vitamin D, weight bearing exercise, and weight bearing means heel strike activities not lifting weights. Lifting weights are great for muscle building but we want to do an activity that puts your heel to the floor, like walking or aerobic," said Dr. Chad Deal, an osteoporosis specialist at Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Deal says the best way to determine if you're at risk is to get a bone density test.