Psychological aspects in osteoporosis.

C. D’Ovidio

Section of Legal Medicine, Department of Medicine and Aging Sciences, “G. d’Annunzio” University of Chieti–Pescara, Italy


Osteoporosis is a disease linked to bad bone metabolism and is characterized by a reduced and fragile bone mass with disorganized structure. In osteoporosis the bone fracture is very common, in fact, it is estimated that every year there are over 9 million fractures that lead to painful and disabling conditions. In general 50% of women and 20% of men over 50 years of age suffer from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis affects the quality of life and represents an increased economic and social burden. Bone fracture due to osteoporosis can cause depression, contributing to the aggravation of the patient’s physical state and mortality. The depressive state often hinders patient treatment. Pharmacological treatment with bisphosphonates is often inefficient. Bone fractures can lead to psychological disorders with severe anxiety that could exacerbate bone health. High levels of anxiety with depression are found in women with menopause. Treatment of osteoporosis should help prevent the patient’s pathological condition. Improving the quality of life on a psychological level could prevent and treat osteoporosis in the elderly. A positive behavioural approach to this disease, which involves primary care physicians and patients, can lead to an improvement in osteoporosis and bone fractures.

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