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It should go without saying that Black women have bones that can become thin with age like any other women, but there is a widely held misconception that Black women don’t need to be concerned about osteoporosis. This myth helps to delay prevention and treatment for women who don’t believe or simply don’t know they are at risk. The reality is, there are several factors that may put Black women at even greater risk for osteoporosis. Here’s what you need to know to protect your bones and your health.

African Americans typically have greater bone density than Caucasians. However, studies show that after midlife, Black women’s risk of developing osteoporosis closely resembles that of their counterparts. In fact, between 80 and 95 percent of bone fractures among Black women over the age of 64 are due to osteoporosis.

What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease characterized by low bone mass, which makes bones fragile and susceptible to fracture. Osteoporosis is known as a silent disease because symptoms and pain do not appear until a fracture occurs. Without prevention or treatment, osteoporosis can progress painlessly until a bone breaks, typically in the hip, spine, or wrist.

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