Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones, which leads to an increased risk of fracture. In osteoporosis, bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced and the amount and variety of proteins in the bone are altered.
Osteoporosis is called the silent thief, because it often remains undiagnosed until a low energy fracture or several fractures occur. One out of three women and one out of five men 50 years old will experience osteoporotic fractures in their remaining lifetime. Osteoporotic fractures cause substantial pain and severe disability as well as significant costs to the society. In the EU, 22 million women and 6 million men were estimated to suffer from osteoporosis in 2010. The direct costs of osteoporotic fractures were €38.7 billion and the number of deaths related to osteoporotic fractures was estimated at 43,000.