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A 44-year-old male asked:

Does osteopenia eventually progress to osteoporosis, or are they one in the same?

4 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Milroy Samuel
Obstetrics and Gynecology 24 years experience
Yes it can: Osteopenia can lead to osteoporosis. Vitamin d and calcium supplementation are key to reducing the likelihood of either happening.
Dr. Kenneth Merriman
Orthopedic Surgery 47 years experience
Yes: Osteopenia is like being " a little bit pregnant" eventually you will get to the real thing it is a continuium bases on values seen with bone mineral density testing exercise , vitamin d and calcium are the bedrock of treatment for this.
Dr. Steven Sheskier
Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgery 39 years experience
Sometimes: Osteopenia means that there is a decrease in the normal amount of calcium in a bone. Osteoporosis is a diagnosis of why the bone may be osteopenic. Other causes are osteomalacia, and disuse to name a few of the most common causes. Osteoporosis(the horse) leads to increasing osteopenia (the cart).
Dr. Melissa Young
Internal Medicine 9 years experience
Bone density: Osteopenia and osteoporosis are diagnosis made by comparing your bone density to that of a young healthy adult. Osteoporosis is worse than osteopenia, and with time and lack of treatment osteopenia can worsen, but it doesn't necessarily have to. Weight bearing exercise, adequate calcium and vitamin d intake, and smoking cessation can help protect your bones.

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Last updated Oct 8, 2013

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