(HealthDay News) -- Forty-four million Americans are at risk of contracting osteoporosis, a disease of low bone mass that can lead to breaks and fractures.
One of every two women and one in four men over age 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetimes, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In women, bone loss is related to a drop in production of the female hormone estrogen after menopause. Small, thin-boned women are most likely to develop osteoporosis.
But women aren't the only ones at risk. More than 2 million American men have the disease, the NIH says, and millions more are at risk.
The best way to help prevent osteoporosis is to get enough dietary calcium. Good sources include milk, cheese, salmon and leafy green vegetables like spinach.