Osteoporosis is the most common metabolic bone disorder, and is characterized by low bone mass accompanied by microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue. The consequent increase in bone fragility results in osteoporosis patients being prone to sustaining fractures. Although the majority of osteoporosis patients are postmenopausal women, it is not a female-only disease.
It is estimated that one in three women and one in five men aged over 50 years will sustain an osteoporosis-related fracture, and the associated complications represent a huge socioeconomic burden. Treatment of osteoporosis can be a challenge as bone loss is essentially symptomless until a fracture occurs, which can lead to difficulties with diagnosis and patient compliance.