Osteoporosis is quickly becoming a national health care concern.\nIt\u2019s estimated that 10 million Americans now have osteoporosis and 34 million are at risk. Whether you\u2019re young or old, male or female, chances are good that you \u2014 or someone you love \u2014 will be affected by the disease.\n\u201cIn osteoporosis, your bones become thin and brittle, putting you at increased risk of a bone fracture,\u201d says Susan Greenspan, MD, UPMC\u2019s director of osteoporosis prevention and treatment. \u201cIn advanced stages, simple acts like lifting a baby or sneezing can lead to a fracture.\u201d\nFour Facts Everyone Should Know About Osteoporosis:\n\nOsteoporosis can appear at any age. But after the age of 50, one out of every two women \u2014 and one out of every four men \u2014 may experience a fracture due to the disease. These breaks occur most often in the hip, wrist, and spine.\nOsteoporosis is silent. It\u2019s often diagnosed only after a fracture. Menopause, family and medical history, physical build, and your lifestyle and diet can increase your odds of the disease\nYou can take proactive steps at any age to promote bone health. These include: eating foods rich in calcium, such as milk, cottage cheese, and calcium-enriched juices; exercising (weight-bearing exercise like walking); stopping smoking; and limiting alcohol use. If needed, consider taking a calcium supplement and vitamin D daily.\nThe good news is early detection is easy.\n\nIf you\u2019re 65 years of age or older, Dr. Greenspan recommends talking to your doctor about your risks. A simple bone mineral density test can assess your bone health. To learn more about osteoporosis, talk to your primary care provider, or visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation\u2019s website.