What is it, the consequences, and who is most at risk

hand there Osteoporosis. Bones become more and more brittle, and risk breaking with any minor trauma. Women at risk mainly after menopause, but not only. But beware: it happens that sometimes this problem is associated with another problem, muscle weakness. In this case we are talking about sarcopenia. Science is now increasingly keen to consider these two phenomena together, in a framework that links loss of bone mass and bone strength, i.e. osteoporosis, to reduced muscle mass, strength and performance. Thus a new term was born to be taken into account, also in terms of prevention, Osteoporosis. That’s what it is.

A phenomenon exacerbated by the epidemic

With the gradual resumption of examinations and visits following the more severe phases of the epidemic, we started talking about ‘osteoporosis’, a recently identified syndrome that sees the concomitant emergence of the two diseases, exacerbating in an aging society like that of Italy. consequences An increase in the incidence of falls and fractures, with relative disability and mortality. A meeting on this topic was recently held and coordinated by Stefano Lillo, scientific advisor to the Division of Women’s and Child Health at the Gemelli Policlinico Foundation.

Osteoporosis increases the risk of fractures of the vertebrae, wrist, femur, and other skeletal sites. The effect can be very significant: in the event of a fracture of the femur, the mortality rate over a year is about 20%, disability is added to it in 40% of cases, despite the improvement of orthopedic techniques. to make The diagnosis of sarcopenia Strength, muscle tissue quantity, and physical performance are assessed by analyzing a series of presentations using tools such as a dynamometer and a gait test that assess walking speed. These integrated parameters show an increased fragility of a person who can break and fall ill.

“The scientific community is paying increasing attention to these two aspects that are often seen as separate: on the one hand, loss of bone mass and bone strength, that is, osteoporosis; on the other hand, loss of muscle mass, strength and performance, sarcopenia – emphasized Lillo. It affects both bones and muscles. On each other and in the same way bone and muscle health goes together: exercise, proper diet with adequate calcium, and maintaining a good level of vitamin D are aspects that benefit both bones and those muscles.The bonding is exacerbated by the fact that the average The age of the population is growing, with an overall decrease in bone and muscle mass. Both lead to increased frailty and risk of falls and fractures. A 2011 study, for example, showed that in women who fracture their femur, 58% also had sarcopenia.”

We focus on prevention

Represents loss of bone and muscle mass Two operations are inevitable In the maturity stage of life. Bone mass accumulates until the age of 25-30, and then begins to lose gradually over time, with acceleration in postmenopausal women. Although there is great variety, about 1-2% of muscle mass is lost each year after age 50, for an overall reduction of 30-50% by age 80. Prevention can start from an early age with a healthy lifestyle, and become more important with time.

“Even in the elderly subject 20-30 minutes Physical activity 3 times a week It can improve the condition of bones and muscles – highlights the expert. It then becomes necessary to optimize your protein intake: 1-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram per day can help. It is then necessary to supplement the diet with an effective amount of calcium, not losing sight of the effect on the cardiovascular system. Vitamin D supplementation is essential, as it is at all stages of life: in adolescents with a vitamin D deficiency, there is a risk of not reaching peak bone mass, that is, the maximum bone that each of us reaches in life, which is determined and influenced genetically by hormonal and dietary factors, by physical activity, by vitamin D itself.”

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