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.
May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Learn more about what puts you at risk for osteoporosis and how to prevent and treat it at the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Watch our short video to learn more about how Medicare can help you protect your bones.