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Bone Health and Osteoporosis A Report of the Surgeon General

US Department of Health and Human Services

ABSTRACT

This first-ever Surgeon General's Report on bone health and osteoporosis illustrates the large burden that bone disease places on our Nation and its citizens. Like other chronic diseases that disproportionately affect the elderly, the prevalence of bone disease and fractures is projected to increase markedly as the population ages. If these predictions come true, bone disease and fractures will have a tremendous negative impact on the future well-being of Americans. But as this report makes clear, they need not come true: by working together we can change the picture of aging in America. Osteoporosis, fractures, and other chronic diseases no longer should be thought of as an inevitable part of growing old. By focusing on prevention and lifestyle changes, including physical activity and nutrition, as well as early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, Americans can avoid much of the damaging impact of bone disease and other chronic diseases. This Surgeon General's Report brings together for the first time the scientific evidence related to the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of bone disease. More importantly, it provides a framework for moving forward. The report will be another effective tool in educating Americans about how they can promote bone health throughout their lives.

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