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Bone Mass, Bone Loss, and Osteoporosis Prophylaxis

Robert P. Heaney, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

Creighton University; Omaha, NE 68178. Requests for Reprints: Robert P. Heaney, MD, Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178.


Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1998;128(4):313-314. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-128-4-199802150-00014
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Throughout most of the 20th century, reduced bone mass was central to the definition of osteoporosis. Indeed, the very etymology of the word osteoporosis connotes a reduction in bone mass. At the 1990 Consensus Conference on Osteoporosis, however, the disorder was redefined as a condition of “skeletal fragility due to decreased bone mass and to microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in risk of fracture” [1]. Reduced bone mass was thereby relegated to the status of a risk factor for fragility.

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