Osteoporosis is a common disorder affecting the health of many adults. Strategies for fracture prevention include optimization of peak bone mass and prevention of bone loss at menopause and with aging. Genetic, nutritional, and life-style factors influence peak bone mass and may be used to focus preventive efforts. Once peak bone mass is reached, increased bone resorption may be the major pathogenetic factor. Calcium plus vitamin D, estrogen replacement therapy, calcitonin, and etidronate are agents currently available for treatment of osteoporosis; they act by inhibiting bone resorption. The failure of bone formation to keep pace with bone resorption also contributes to bone loss. Fluoride and intermittent parathyroid hormone therapy increase bone formation; however, more data are needed to determine efficacy. Insulin-like growth factors, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), and bone morphogenetic proteins may stimulate bone formation, but they have not yet been tested clinically. New approaches to treatment of osteoporosis will emerge as our understanding of the pathogenesis increases.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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