Health: No Bones About It

It's almost Halloween, a good time to start thinking about your skeleton

A few years ago, my mother went for her annual checkup and added a new word to her vocabulary--osteopenia. She was well aware of osteoporosis, the bone thinning that occurs with age, but had never heard of its precursor. Having osteopenia meant she had low bone mass and was at greater risk of developing osteoporosis and perhaps breaking a hip or other bones in the years ahead.

Like my mom, some 34 million Americans have osteopenia, according to Surgeon General Richard Carmona, who released a survey of the state of America's skeletal system last week. It was the first Surgeon General's...

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