Study: Women with osteoporosis ages 65 and older often go undiagnosed

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While 13% of women 65 and older were diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2003, there were far more women – about 29% -- who actually had it, according to a Stanford University study in The Archives of Internal Medicine. About 10 million women have the disease, but only about 40% are being treated, the study said.

Often, symptoms of the disease go unnoticed until a patient breaks a bone, according to chief author Randall Stafford, assistant professor of medicine in the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

The study found that the number of doctor visits for osteoporosis increased fourfold between 1994 and 2003, a period when calcium dietary supplements was in decline.