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Health Matters


João David Miranda . 20/10/2016

Osteoporosis is a silent disease. It presents no symptoms until its most severe consequence happens, bone fracture.

Typical osteoporosis fractures are at the vertebral column, fist and hip. Bone density increases until reaching a peak, around the age of 30. From then on, bone density slowly decreases, with an estimated reduction of 0,3% every year. On women, loss is greater on the 10 years following menopause, reaching around 3% a year. On women with a sedentary lifestyle, the loss is even more severe.

Nowadays, osteoporosis is considered a severe public health issue. Considering the increase in life expectancy and the general aging of population, osteoporosis has growing prevalence worldwide.


In accordance with WHO data, 1/3 of white women over the age of 65 have osteoporosis and it is estimated that about 50% of all women above 75 years old will experience some osteoporotic fracture. In Portugal, the incidence of osteoporosis if of 10,2%.


- Family members with osteoporosis;

- Diet with a calcium deficit;

- Sedentary lifestyle;

- White or oriental ethnicity;

- Slim constitution;

- Never having been pregnant;

- Use of certain medication, such as corticosteroids and excessive amounts of thyroid hormone;

- Premature menopause;

- Smoking;

- Excessive alcohol consumption;


Osteoporosis prevention is more effective than its treatment and consists of maintaining or increasing bone density by consuming appropriate amounts of calcium, practicing exercise that requires body weight support (weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercises, hiking) and, in some case, administering drugs that reduce bone resorption.

WHO recognizes that the best way to deal with osteoporosis is by preventing it as early as from birth and all throughout life. Some interventions aiming to maximize and preserve bone mass have multiple beneficial effects on health. Increasing the ingestion of calcium, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption ((< 30 g per day), may contribute to prevent osteoporosis and, potentially decrease occurrence of fractures. Physical exercise also contributes to increase Bone Mineral Density (BMD) during growth and minimize bone loss in a more advanced age. The earlier a healthy lifestyle is adopted, the greater will be the gains on BMD. Nevertheless, changes are beneficial at any age.


The purpose of treatment is to increase bone density. All women, especially those suffering from osteoporosis, should take calcium and Vitamin D supplements. There are also several drugs that are useful in the treatment of osteoporosis.

Joaquim Chaves Saúde Medical Clinics have specialists and teams of highly qualified therapists for the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

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