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Osteoporosis rates holding steady, StatsCan finds

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About 20 per cent of Canadian women and almost 4 per cent of men aged 50 or older have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, Statistics Canada reports.

The agency, using data from 2009, said prevalence of the brittle-bone disease was virtually unchanged from five years earlier.

The rate is higher among those aged 71 and up - 31 per cent of women and about 6 per cent of men.

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Osteoporosis is considered an underlying cause for most fractures in people over 60, and doctors often recommend that patients boost their intake of calcium and vitamin D.

The report suggested that people with osteoporosis are more likely to take the bone-strengthening supplements.

In 2004, the most recent year for which nutrition data are available, 36 per cent of men and 59 per cent of women with osteoporosis were taking calcium supplements.

Supplementation with vitamin D occurred at roughly the same levels among those with osteoporosis - 38 per cent for men and 57 per cent for women.

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