Micronutrients and Bone
The most recent de„nition of osteoporosis is a disease characterized by loss of bone mass, accompanied by microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, that leads to an unacceptable increase in the risk of skeletal failure (fracture). Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million U.S. men and women aged 50 years and older, or 55% of the population in that age range (America’s Bone Health: The State of Osteoporosis and Low Bone Mass in Our Nation, 2002). In fact, one in two women and one in four men over the age of 50 years will fracture at some point in their lifetime. The costs to the healthcare system associated with osteoporotic fracture are approximately 17 billion dollars annually (Gabriel et al., 2002; Ray et al., 1997; Tosteson et al., 2001), with each hip fracture having total medical costs of $40,000.