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Program for Women's Bone Health
Osteoporosis-related fractures occur in half of women older than 50. In fact, more women sustain fractures each year than those diagnosed with breast cancer, stroke and heart attack combined. This is because osteoporosis and osteopenia (also referred to as low bone mass) can present without any symptoms.
Once a woman has sustained a fracture, there’s a one in five chance she will fracture another bone within the next five years. For 25% of women over age 50 who sustain an osteoporotic hip fracture, this injury can be fatal. Other fractures such as spine fractures cause pain, height loss or difficulty breathing. Many of these fractures can be prevented by timely screening, evaluation and treatment.
Women should start optimizing bone health before menopause. The Northwestern Medicine Program for Women’s Bone Health can offer an evaluation of risk factors and recommendations to help you minimize bone loss and lower your risk of fracture.
At the Northwestern Medicine Program for Women's Bone Health, our expert clinicians:
Risk factors for bone loss and fractures include:
Many women with risk factors should be screened in the early postmenopausal years. The timing of a first screening dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DXA (a low-radiation scan of hips and spine), is dependent on individual risk factors but should occur in all women no later than age 65.
Our comprehensive approach to treatment of bone loss may include:
Kristi Tough DeSapri, MD, director of the Northwestern Medicine Program for Women's Bone Health, is a board-certified internal medicine specialist who completed a fellowship in women's health at the Cleveland Clinic. She collaborates with primary care physicians and specialists to optimize care.
Dr. Tough DeSapri is a member of and active contributor to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Association of Bone Mineral Research and North American Menopause Society. She is also a certified clinical densitometrist with the International Society of Clinical Densitometry.
Dr. Lauren Streicher and Dr. Kristi Tough-DeSapri talk about bone health.
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