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Over recent decades, the perception of osteoporosis has changed from that of an inevitable consequence of ageing, to that of a well characterised and treatable chronic non-communicable disease, with major impacts on individuals, healthcare systems and societies. Characterisation of its pathophysiology from the hierarchical structure of bone and the role of its cell population, development of effective strategies for the identification of those most appropriate for treatment, and an increasing armamentarium of efficacious pharmacological therapies, have underpinned this evolution. Despite this marked progress, individuals who experience a fragility fracture remain under-treated in many areas of the world, and there is substantial need for investment both in secondary and primary prevention globally. In this brief article, we give an overview of the pathogenesis of osteoporosis, and summarise current and future approaches to its assessment and treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin med (lond)

Publication Date



15 Suppl 6


s92 - s96


dxa, epidemiology, osteoporosis, pathophysiology, risk assessment, ­treatment, Humans, Osteoporosis, Risk Factors